Streak’s End

 Nathaniel says…
How does a streak of this magnitude end?  In a blaze of glory?  On a wonderful night of relaxation and conversation?  Nope, it simply evaporates amidst a haze of frustration and finger pointing.  Whether you have known us well, or not, you must have known that the streak would not end on a great night.  How could it?  Being in a positive mood towards life and each other does not bring about the demise of physical intimacy.
What happened?  We took a trip, that was longer than average for us, without children and it was fantastic.  We rode roller coasters for Christina’s birthday, walked the beach and sat and read books facing the beach.  Even connected physically, emotionally and spiritually and the entire trip was a blessing.  Somehow just ahead of coming home we both got frustrated and it lasted into the next day.  So, we ended the streak as it started, consensually and on a random day chosen merely by chance.  C’mon, not like anyone out there actually thought we’d have sex every day until we died right?  Did you?  Really?  That’s a lot of pressure, I am glad you and I did not have a personal conversation about this.
Question time.
What will we remember more?  The way it ended?  The way it started?  The three last great days?  Or, the middle fun and challenging times?
How do we keep the focus positive after such a sudden end?  Will this view be attainable in our marriage?
Have we learned anything?  Am I still willing to make adjustments for my wife?  Is she for me?  Who views approaches of the other in the most positive light?  Does it matter?  If not, why not?  What is holding us back?
Does one look upon the other’s strengths or feelings with resentment?
Do I discourage the way she thinks and feels with tactless words and facial expressions? Does she do such to me?
What resentments are we holding onto that we won’t let go?  Does she hold her poor memory at her forefront as a crutch in order to avoid trying for me at times?  Do I hold my passive nature as a crutch to give up early and avoid trying for her at times?  Are there resentments of our own thoughts and anxieties?  Or actual resentments of the other person?  Yes, even after all these years is this still happening?
After all this time do either of us still have anything to be negative about?  Did you know there is more to meeting each other’s needs than just physical or just emotional?  If I am being negative how can she safely get me to become aware of it?  Encourage me out of it?  If she is being negative, same questions of how can I successfully encourage her to become aware and get out of it?
Does this mean our work together is done emotionally?  Not a chance.  Do we have it all figured out?  NO!!!!  As we have stated before, sex is not the answer to all life’s connection woes and we may know more than anyone this fact.  Sex can cover up a lot of woes as a sort of compulsion or coping mechanism, but there is so much more to the both of us than just sex.  I am not done learning about her and Lord willing she is not done learning about me.  I am not finished pursuing her and Lord willing she is not finished pursuing me.
I like to imagine we will focus on the days before it ended because they were amazing and positive and worth holding our focus.  All that effort was worth it and no one should want that taken away by one day.
What was the final number?
1,242 days in a row.

Coupon for Class!! Use TONIGHT!

Did you check out our new resource “The Year of Commitment”?

We had originally planned to only have registration for “The Year of Commitment” open for 2 days. Due to the positive response and our belief in how important it is for your ministry or business to have a plan in place, we’ve changed our plans. We are going to be keeping “The Year of Commitment” as an ongoing available resource.
Until tonight at midnight you can get it for $5.00 off. If you enter the coupon code 5OFF your price will be reduced by $5.00.

 

https://faithful-bloggers.teachable.com/p/the-year-of-commitment-yearly-planning

 

 

New Opportunity For You

Faithful Bloggers is offering a cool new opportunity for anyone interested in having an amazing year!!!

The Year of Commitment is a short video course teaching you how to plan your year to live with more consistency and purpose.

Check out the link… the class is only available for TWO DAYS….Hurry and check it out…you won’t be sorry!

Lots of love….

Christina

https://faithful-bloggers.teachable.com/p/the-year-of-commitment-yearly-planning

Psychology Today

Excellent quote from Psychology Today magazine;

Regarding what people do talk about and do not talk about in therapy…but I think it really applies outside of the therapist’s office too.

“It’s not quite true that patients don’t talk about sex. What is true is that patients don’t talk about sex as much as they acknowledge that it’s important to talk about it.”

Barry Farber

Got us thinking today…just because we have sex every day (last night was 1200 nights in a row) doesn’t mean even we talk about it all that often. We joke, we flirt, we make innuendos, but how often are we really talking about what matters regarding sex?

And what does matter?

How you/your spouse feels about sex…

How often you/your spouse would like it…

What adventures you/your spouse would like to try… (most of us are very unafraid to voice what we definitely do not want to do, but how many of us really and with confidence say what we do want?)

Food for thought… What matters to you about sex and are you talking about it with your spouse in a loving, healthy non-judgmental way?~~

~~~Christina 🙂

 

Happy Giggles for a Thursday

Have you seen these notepads at a gift store?

When we were on vacation in Monterey last September we came across this little gem in a kitschy-fun candy shop.

We check off multiple boxes every so often and then leave the paper folded for each other to find (out of sight from the kiddos for sure!). The checked off reasons make us giggle, bring us closer and add a bit of silly spice (that should so be my Spice Girl name! Silly Spice) to our evening.

Give them a try yourself…why not?

Happy Giggly Thursday—- The Rhoads

Sludge–Part 3 Cleaning House

 

The sludge in our “house” that was already there—the hurts from our past, the hang-ups we often dangle from and the habits we often don’t even realize exist—combines at a caustic level with the new sludge we tend to slather around; finger pointing, projection, expectations and resentments.

It’s inevitable in our lives, mine and Nathaniel’s…yours too…, in our marriage, in our child rearing to mix toxic levels of grime because we are grimy people, sinful people and hurt people who hurt people. Though we strive to be like God, we are still imperfect, fallible creatures screwing up and spewing our slime onto the closest person. Often times that super slimed person is my husband or my sons, not to leave out myself either. Because when I junk up someone else’s day I get a good dose of my own junk too.

So, how do Nathaniel and I clean our “house”?  

We have a three layer approach to cleaning before, during and after the sludge has hit the fan.

BEFORE:

Before we ever have an argument about anything, past or present, before we ever get the inclination to point a finger, be resentful, or project our hurts onto each other, we pray.

Not exactly right before, that would be amazingly telepathic of us and heck if we were telepathic more of our arguments would never start in the first place. Rather, we have prayer built in to our daily lives as well as daily Bible reading, conversations about scripture and regular, weekly church attendance and involvement.

We make God a priority in our lives not just as a church box to check off or as a spiritual slogan wall hanging, but in real, daily application. We use prayer daily and often throughout our day to guide us through the good, bad and the indifferent parts of our day. Before Nathaniel leaves for work we read our Bibles and pray together (Thank you Dad for instilling this in me!). More often than not we pray for other people and their needs. But, quite often we will pray for our day to come so that God may lead it and reside in us. We take this morning ritual with us though the day…I pray for school with my kids, Nathaniel prays for people at work he chats with, we pray at dinner and the children’s bedtimes, as well as ending our night with a final prayer as we close our eyes. Without prayer our foundation would not be steady.

DURING:

During an argument we have sex.

Okay…so maybe not RiiiiGHT in the moment….but before midnight, which really puts a damper on the whole arguing thing. When we stop an argument to make sex a priority before midnight what we are really doing is making each other a priority over the argument, over who was right and who was wrong, over pointing the finger and unmet expectations, and over anxious projections spewed all over each other. We make a point to come together for the sake of our relationship on a deeper level….sex is just the conduit to get there sometimes.

AFTER:

After an argument we talk. But, more importantly we listen.

 

Any relationship, whether deep or superficial, is a two –way street. Going one way we talk, going the other way we listen. The relationship will be deeper, more evenly weighted and healthier when there is more listening than talking. And to take it one further, the more we listen in our relationship and then act appropriately in accordance to what we heard, the stronger the relationship will be as well. A listening relationship starts with listening to God and that obedience then trickles down to relationships and marriages.

 

There ya have it… my simple (HA!), no fuss (Sure…) Three Step Guide to Cleaning House.

Pray….Have sex…Talk (I mean Listen)

Sludge—PART TWO

 

I am my house.

My body is a temple for God.

My body is a house.

I am shined and polished on the outside. Hair coiffed, bangles adorning, lips shined, and clothes neat.

I am my house.

My body is a temple for God.

My body is my house.

If I am my house, then why is it unclean?

 

Three years ago when we decided to go on a sex streak we were not doing it as a means to “clean house” in our relationship. But, that is exactly what came of it.

The marriage was steady for nine years. Steady minus the times when our roller coaster cart jumped track and we found ourselves slammed up against a brick wall wet with tears, blood and shame. Sex in itself did not fix our “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride”, but it did open up an avenue in which learning to do better for each other, and for God was possible.

One of the very few rules we had going into the sex streak was that we had to do it by midnight, or else it did not count toward the day. I am OCD enough that I was not; I’m still not, going to let anything break the streak.  (You know you really do have to look at all the positives of “cRAzy”. An OCD wife in this case equals one seriously happy husband) (and me too, definitely me too) So, if I was hell bent on not letting anything break the streak, how then were we supposed to make sex a streak when life throws dirt clods, splashes coffee dregs of white tee shirts and squirts blood red ketchup on pants?

When life would hurl mud bombs at us (in the beginning of the marriage and during the first ¾ the streak) the tendency was to throw in the towel and call it quits. But, I couldn’t ever do that. I am sure it has a lot to do with my childhood, but let’s not get Freudian right now. My Obsessive Compulsive nature, though I am not at all competitive in most other circumstances, would not let me just give up in a streak. It was something that must be conquered. Ended on my time, or God’s time, but surely never broken because of a little mudslinging.

Instead of letting a fight stop the sex of any given night, we would come to a place where we would give in to the fight and let it go, freezing it in time to go back and rehash later; all in the name of sex. And it worked, praise God, every time! You know what else happened in those frozen moments? We came together as a couple for something bigger, or at least more pleasurable (at least most of the time after a fight) than arguing. Adrenaline and oxytocin took over, filling our bodies with something better than rage, defeat and depression.  After, we were markedly calmer, more attune to our own needs and often times more attune to each other’s needs; which was usually the thing that needed fixing in the first place.

 

Sludge—PART THREE

Cleaning House

How do we clean house before, during and after a fight?