bravery

Never Been More Satisfied

Love and Making It – the eCourse currently at full speed – is changing my life more than I thought possible because it is changing the lives of the women who took a giant step of bravery and signed up.  We are asking hard questions and connecting with our spouses. We are cheering for each other, praying for each other, and laughing HARD with each other. Most of all, though, people are finding hope.

“My husband has never felt so loved and frankly I have never been more satisfied.”
“The very thing that has caused so much pain and fear could be the method by which those wounds are healed. whoa.”
(And that is just a couple comments. I am floored by the amazing things happening in this course.)

Thank you to everyone who has expressed interest in taking the next course AND to the single women who have told me I MUST include them next time… AS YOU WISH.
LOVE AND MAKING IT – a course on feeling brave and beautiful {in bed} will start another round in the spring. (Read about it here and here)
BABES IN GODLAND – a course on feeling brave and beautiful {in your body}.  We will focus on feeling alive, well-made, beautiful, and sensual regardless of relationship status.
There are so many messages we have learned about what “sexy” is and how we are supposed to act as women and as people pursuing the mysteries of God.  These classes are a call to freedom and healing for our WHOLE selves.
*****

“I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.” – Pablo Neruda
I slept but my heart was awake. Listen! My beloved is knocking: “Open to me, my sister, my darling, my […]

Learning New Things

Do you hate learning new things in front of people? I do. A lot.
I haven’t learned to ballroom dance because I do not want my husband to see me “learning” to ballroom dance. Until I try in front of him, I can keep the mysterious question going…  “is Nicole an awesome, naturally-gifted ballroom dancer?? Could be!!”
… I am settling for that.

A few years ago, we went on a cruise with a large group of friends. One night, we went to the karaoke bar. Now, I love singing when no one can hear me: loud concerts, the shower, my car. But, singing karaoke in front of people – especially friends with whom I work and will continue to see regularly…? Nope. No way. I actually remember saying the words, “I like what you currently think of me. There’s no way I am messing that up by singing in front of you.”
“I like what you currently think of me.” 
 
I am more comfortable with the
potential of being awesome than living the
struggle of becoming awesome.
*****
Before we get to all the life-lessons I should have learned by now, let’s talk truth for a second:
We are judgmental as people. Every single day, I hear people whisper critiques and make decisions about each other. Oh, he’s not great at this. She’s not ready for that.  I, myself, have seen someone try something and thought, oh. That was not very impressive.

We make decisions and categorize each other’s abilities.  And, then, as opportunities arise – both professionally and personally – we decide who is allowed to participate. Who is good enough?
Entire TV channels are built on this, this “making or not making the cut.”  You mess up once and you are out. Passion doesn’t […]

  • Permalink LOVE and MAKING IT is a new series on sex and marriage, bodies and souls. It will be candid and sometimes messy.  It's not just about having a great sex life; it's about having a great body life.Gallery

    Tonight I Can (a quick and honest thought on sex in marriage)

Tonight I Can (a quick and honest thought on sex in marriage)

LOVE and MAKING IT is a new series on sex and marriage, bodies and souls. It will be candid and sometimes messy.  It’s not just about having a great sex life; it’s about having a great body life. I want one of those.  Read at your own risk.

An Honest Prayer About Sex in Marriage
Tonight
I cannot shave
I cannot be thinner
I cannot grow or shrink my breasts
I cannot learn to dance on a lap or on a pole
I cannot be anything but me
But I can be brave and I can smile
I can kiss and I can love
I can move toward you instead of away
I can stop disqualifying myself from fun
For tonight I will to let you love me as I am in this very instant
not as I will be tomorrow or was yesterday
I can forget my age, weight, rules and responsibilities
I can decide to play for just a night with the love of my life
Tonight I can
 

 

(Addition: I sent this to my husband for his privacy-release, and his comment just made me laugh. “also, rereading your post… I get all the other things you can’t do by tonight… but why can’t you shave? That seems doable.”  yep, seems doable. I agree. but sometimes, it’s just not.)

 

Hello Monsters, Poem

When I was small
even smaller than this
all smiles, fine hair, and freckles.
I lived in a room with my little sis.
 
In that room was a window
looking out on an old maple tree bigger than God
whose leaves made me feel free enough to sing
at the top of my lungs.
 
But on the opposite side of my room hung a door
a wooden shutter, slatted and white
and that door haunted us every single night.
 
You remember those cracked closet doors,
that fear of childhood, right?
Well, mine was more evil than most
a shutter-door with one missing shingle
a pitch black rectangle of terror
waiting to host the glowing eyes of some child-eating monster
with a taste for freckles.
 
And with these thoughts, came FEAR.
Fear that freezes your bones
that makes your body turn to stone
on the inside but never enough on the outside.
Fear that takes today as ransom
for a kidnapped tomorrow that will never come home.
 
So after months of sleepless nights
I could not hide any longer.
I did the most courageous thing of my little life
I moved in with my monsters.
 
In a flurry of determination
I grabbed my pillows and blankets and books
a flashlight and my sister
and we moved into that dark closet.
 
Slept there every single night
and not ONE monster was ever brave enough to show His face.
 
This is when I learned:
Fear is a lion
that only backs down
when we stop acting like prey
and stand our ground.
 
But we do grow up
and the monsters
get darker and smarter
and the next thing we know
we are running much harder.
No longer daring to face down our fears but away
from the beasts who will swallow us whole
who make closets that scare our very souls.

Monsters: like betrayal, hair loss, loneliness, and grief
failure, sprained ankles, botched interviews, and spinach in our teeth
at just the worst times.
 
I am afraid […]

By |September 11th, 2013|How Can I Help, Poetry|1 Comment|

Courage and a Poem

What have you done in your life that took courage?
This is what my boss asked us all in our staff meeting: What have you done that took courage?
Sitting there quietly, hands knitted together, making eye-contact so as not to seem distracted or weak; I let him finish and I listened as my friends and coworkers stood up to speak about skydiving, surviving strokes, having kids, traveling on missions trips, going to college… so many amazing things.
And while I can remember doing individually impressive things that took courage, the truth is… for me…
 
EVERYTHING TAKES COURAGE
Getting out of bed
Answering the phone
Calling AT&T
Singing when you can hear me
Talking to my neighbors
Admitting to really liking something
Going after my dreams
Parenting my girls
Creating from my heart
Everything

Calling AT&T takes as much courage as skydiving, for me.
But now, I have come to a place in life where I realize, I cannot take fear into consideration anymore – at least not anxiety, worry, insecurity. FEAR in it’s purest, most primal force, can save our lives. I am not talking about that kind of fear… I am talking about the insidious kind that takes us captive, binds us, so that we never grow in the direction of the sun.  We bend and warp to it’s controls. We never grow straight and strong. I don’t want that for me and I surely don’t want that for You or my daughters.
So remember today; the day this very scared person told you to be brave. DO IT AFRAID.
So remember today; the day this very courageous person told you to be brave. DO IT AFRAID.
This is why I wrote this poem, “Hello, Monsters”

 
“Tell fearful souls,
    “Courage! Take heart!
God is here, right here.”
Isaiah 35:3

Hello, Monster

There was a time when my daughter was very scared of monsters. These were nights of 3a room visits and long conversations in the dark. Nights when the blinking light on the smoke detector threatened to eat her in her sleep.
During the day, we could talk openly about her fears and I tried to find humor and perspective for my Dear One. “Face your monsters,” I’d say. “Monsters chase us when we run. But, when you turn to face them, they either run away or they play with you.”

So, one day we tried to look straight at the monsters and get to know them…

 

BEING A MONSTER IS LIKE….
E = my daughter’s answers, Age 5
M = My answers, Age unnecessary

E – gobbling up chips really fast

M – knocking down a door when you try to open it.

E – Eating everything around you when you are hungry

M – trying to bounce a basketball and it goes through the floor.

E – Winning every basketball game because people are scared of you.

M – Being scared of the light instead of the dark

E – they like to sleep in your room all night and protect you. In the morning, they are in your room with the lights and blinds off.

M – looking in the mirror and startling yourself

E – being scared of your shadow

M – trying to watch TV but your fingers are too big for the remote control buttons

E – …So he just kicked the TV

M – wanting to make friends but everyone just runs away.

E – eating everything (including the jar) in one bite

M – loving camping and scary stories around a campfire

E – when you sleep in a tent, make sure to bring meat to eat

M […]