Feb 11, 2013

Think. Pray. Talk.

Editors Note: I volunteered to write this for our MOPS newsletter, so this is geared towards the Mama's out there.
Dictionary.com defines "intimacy" as a close, familiar, and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person or group.

According to Wikipedia (the source of all things brilliant, no?), there are four different forms of intimacy: physical, emotional, cognative, and experimental.

Physical intimacy is sensual touching. This is where sparks fly. It's when you get inside someones personal space... holding hands, hugging, kissing, and perhaps sexual activity.

Emotional intimacy is when you know your soul is tied to someone or something. I'd argue to say that many of us Mama's have some sort of emotional intimacy with a gal-pal, or group of girlfriends-- perhaps a group of women that are in the same age/stage of life as you. (MOPS!)

Cognative or intellectual intimacy takes place when two people exchange thoughts, share ideas and enjoy similarities and differences between their opinions. Perhaps we commonly see this amongst our family, both immediate and extended.

Experiential intimacy is when two people get together to actively involve themselves with each other, probably saying very little to each other, but being involved in mutual activities with one another. This one might be commonly found in the workplace.

When it comes to [Physical] Intimacy in Marriage, I am no expert. (Yes, you just heard my hubby shout "Amen!" from the other side of the room.) I've LOVE the emotional stuff. What can I say, I'm a w-o-m-a-n. And, thankfully, my marriage was built upon an intellectual intimacy between The Hubby and myself. We met in college, working towards the same B.A., and built a killer friendship. Sadly, I must confess that our child-rearing often looks like experiential intimacy-- working towards raising intelligent, God-fearing, kids-- without often coming together on the how-to's and why's.

Physical intimacy in marriage, I'd argue, is as a result of the other three. What do you mean, Stacy? Well, let me ask you a few questions:

Emotional intimacy evaluation- What or who is your soul tied to? Your kids? Your girlfriends? Your job? How much time to you spend tying your soul to the man that God hand-picked for you? Do you pray together? Do you memorize Scripture together? Do you still go on dates (without your kids!)? What do you do to pursue one another (yes ladies, we can pursue our men!) outside of the bedroom?

Cognative intimacy evaluation- What does your husband care about? I mean, what really gets him chatting? Sports? Politics? Business ideas? When the kids are gone, what will you talk to him about? What gets you chatting? Have you shared this with him?

Experiential intimacy- What do you agree and disagree on about raising children? Have you had a discussion about this ... outside of the time-out you've just given your child while you figure out your game plan? What do you look forward to if/when you get to retire together? When the house is quiet and the last birdie leaves the nest, what will you go and do together?

If these things are discussed and addressed regularly, I believe physically intimacy with our spouses would become less of a chore and more of a celebration! (Which, by the way, is what God intended for it to be! See Song of Solomon.) Have you ever told your Hubby what turns you on OUTSIDE of the bedroom? Maybe it's folding a load of laundry, unloading the dishwasher without being asked, or something as sacred as leading your family in evening devotions. Does he know this, or have you only been able to spill to your girlfriends what he DOESN'T know.

When it comes to Intimacy in Marriage, I'd boil it down to this: What is the ministry of your marriage? What fruit of God is seen in your marriage, because of His uniting you and your spouse?

Think about it.
Pray about it.
Talk about it.

Feb 4, 2013


I love birthdays! I love cake... presents... surprises... endless FB love... singing... decor... gathering of friends and family... you know, all the things a good b-day entails!

This morning I started a new b-day ritual. I ran 3.1 miles. (Get it? 3.1 because I'm 31...) It was awesome. I'm still out of shape, but I did it. 400 calories- POOF- gone! (I'm thinking this ritual will be more impressive when I'm 65 and running 6.5 miles, no?)

About 20 minutes into this endeavor, two 70-somethings came in (wearing their jeans?) and hopped on the treadmills on either side of me. And, as I redirected my selfish thoughts ("I'm so much faster than them! Look at me go!"), it occurred to me that they're more than twice my age... and still working out. Instantly, I loved these ladies.

And, since I still had another 20 minutes of pain running, my mind began to wonder...

10 years ago I celebrated my 21st Birthday. On the one hand, that seems like an eternity ago, and on the other it seems like just yesterday. Either way, I cringe when I think about it. Some of my still very precious friends and I headed to a few of the local establishments (lots of options, thanks to Purdue), and we. got. loaded. There was a book for signatures after drinks... which were being served by the pitcher-full. There was a piano bar. There was dancing. There was fun and laughter. But, oh my word, there was more alcohol than I care to reflect upon. (This is not a judgement upon those who love this lifestyle. I'm just saying, it's not a good fit for me.)

This morning, my almost two-year-old, and my 4.5-year-old sang "Happy Birthday" to me with their Dad. (I might have asked them to stop, grabbed my video recorder, and had them start again.) It was precious. (By the way, who added the "cha-cha-cha" stuff? My kids think it's a riot.) We were all in our jammies, possibly on day 2 without a shower, eating oatmeal and laughing at D someone who toots a lot. Cherish.

My hubby, after a loooooooong night of work, was thoughtful enough to stop and get flowers, a balloon and a card, which I saw on the kitchen table when I woke up this morning. It could have been a bag of M&M's or even a bowl of pre-poured cereal-- the fact is, he remembered and inconvenienced himself to show me even more love than he usually does. (A year ago, he did this for me on my b-day.)

In 10 more years, I will be 41. HOLY SMOKES! God-willing, I will have a 14-year-old, 12-year-old and who knows how many (if any) other kids! My parents will be in their '70s!!! THEY will be the old people on the treadmills!

Woah. Now there's a new perspective.