Every Child, Every Step

On May 15th, 2016, we made the decision, as a family of four, to walk through the door of opening our hearts and our homes to another soul. When we started the journey, we really had no clue where it would take us, how long it would take us, and to who it would take us (we still don’t know that).

We didn’t know the challenges it would involve; we didn’t know the frustrations that would come; and we certainly didn’t know that it would lead us to a door of more and more unknowns.

All we knew is we were opening the door of our hearts and walking through a possibility.

At t he time, we weren’t sure if the door would lead us down a path of a private adoption with a private agency, adoption with a big-name organization,  or fostering through our local, county agency.

One step in front of the other. One prayer after the other. One call after the other. One prompting after another. One conversation after the other. Walking, walking, walking; we have continued to put one foot in front of the other, leaning on our Savior and trusting Him for every step of the way.

Some steps have been clear and some have been not-so-clear. Some steps have been easy and some have been hard. Some have been fun and some have been scary. Some have been fast and some have been slow. Some have been in a straight line and some not-so-much.

Suffice to say, it’s been a journey filled with lots of steps…with only more to come. 

On May 15th, 2016 we walked through a door. And today, almost exactly a year later, we walk through another. On May 17th, 2017, we can officially say, “We have been dual-licensed to foster and/or adopt!”

We have no clue what is behind this new door, or where this path will or will not lead, but here’s a few things I know and choose to believe.

Every child is worth the paperwork.

Every child is worth the hours.

Every child is worth the sacrifice.

Every child is worth the money.

Every child is worth the appointments, the meetings, and the emails.

Every child is worth the changes.

Every child is worth the renovations.

Every child is worth the questions.

Every child is worth the awkward conversations.

Every child is worth the exhaustion.

Every child is worth the tears.

Every child is worth the fears.

Every child is worth the wait.

Every child is worth the walk.

Every child is worth every single one of those steps.

Because every child (biological, fostered, or adopted) is worthy of being loved, protected, and nurtured by hearts that are willingly open to be broken and changed along the way.

Every child, every step. 

To God be the glory, great things He has done… and great things we believe He will continue to do.

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Books, Books, Books: A May Give-Away

I don’t know about you, but I am so thankful for my community of girlfriends. Though some are near and most are far, I find such comforting joy and sweet encouragement from these dear women. Some are single, some are married, some are parents, some are older, some are peers,…but ALL love the Lord and have been committed to caring and and carrying me through the years, the miles, and the transitions. I love my tribe, and I think my tribe loves me. And ya know what? It’s SUPPOSED to be that way. Why? Because God designed us to be in loving, supportive relationships that build us and grow us. But let’s be honest, community isn’t always easy; it’s not always readily accessible; and it can ebb and flow, change and grow. I’ve been there. In fact, sometimes I’m still there.

So when I saw this book, I was completely drawn and utterly interested.

I want to have good friends; I want to be a good friend; and  I want to be in a thriving, edifying, ever-growing community where God is the cornerstone and my gal-pals are the bricks.

So what book am I giving away? 

I am giving away TWO copies of Craving Connection: 30 Challenges for Real-Life Encouragement by the (in)courage community.

And why am I giving away this book?

Because not only do I LOVE the cover (hello, coffee cup, craft tape, and the pink-mint color duo), but I love that the purpose of the book is to do the following:

  1. “Embrace the desire God has given each of us for connection”
  2. “Invest in meaningful relationships, right where God has you”
  3. “Become the friend you wish you had”

So what are a few of my favorite line(s) from this book? 

Since I’ve only read three chapters of 30, I will choose the two that have impacted me the most (thus far)–the two that have stirred such a pondering in my heart over the last week that I just keep re-visiting them over and over again.

“Have you ever had someone reach out to you unexpectedly and the timing be so significantly perfect that the credit goes only to the Lord? Has the Lord ever brought someone to mind for you, making it clear that He wanted you to reach out to that person?

So how can you win a copy of this book? 

In the comment section below, share a recent blessing you have received from a friend and on Friday at 10AM (EST), I will select TWO winners!

Happy connecting!

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Crappy-Pseudo Identities

 

Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t walk around exclaiming or asserting my age. I just don’t.

“Hey man near the eggs! Guess what? I’m 33!”

“33 is my number, yo!”

“You’ll never believe it, lady blocking the $1 aisle at Target, but I’m 33.”

“I 30 +3, folks!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

No. I just don’t do that. I just don’t.

But our little girl does. In fact, she does it ALL the time.

At the park, to a complete stranger, she’ll walk up and announce, “I three.” To the little girl on the slide that could thump her with one punch, “I three. I big.” To the random man at the gas station, “Guess what man? I three!” To the small infant in the mother’s carrier, “I three. I sooooo big.”

Everywhere she goes, she’s announcing her “three-ness.” 

She’s not introducing herself by her name; she’s announcing her age.

Why?

Because she’s found an identity in that number. 

To our Evie Rae, the number “3” signifies that she’s “gettin’ big.” And to her, that is a big deal. A real big deal.

Her brother’s big. Her brother’s friends are big. Her mom is big. Her dad is big. Everyone around her is big. And she, too, wants to be big.

She wants to be important; she wants to be significant; she wants to be noticed; and she wants to have a place. And for her, the number “3” seems to do just that.  But ya know what? That number doesn’t really mean a whole lot of anything. Sure, it gives her an important, significant, noticed place (in her eyes). But the number “3” doesn’t define our Evie Rae; it only describes her.

And ya know what? I don’t think we, big people, are all that different when it comes to mis-identifying ourselves with things that don’t really mean a whole lot of anything. Sure, we may not go around touting our age or sharing our decade digits, but we, too, identify ourselves by a whole lot of other things that seem just as silly as “3.”

And if you won’t admit it (it’s okay, I won’t know it if you don’t; it’s just a blog), I think I’ll go ahead and raise my hand, admitting that I’m painfully similar to my little-big, three year-old.

In fact, I know I am.

So much so… that the good, good Father seems to be spending most of His heavenly days (as of late) sheddin’ light on this problem-area in my life. This problem-area called “identity confusion,” also known as “crappy-pseudo identities.” 

It would take way too much time and way too much cyber space to share all that He has graciously and painfully exposed to my big-little self in the past six months, but let me just share a few areas where there has been some major exposure and some serious pruning.

Jessica’s Crappy-Pseudo, Spiritual Identity Struggles: 

Am I “conservative enough?” Do I fit? Am I too theologically progressive or too open-minded? Will they think I’m “too left” and not “enough right?” What if they don’t like the books I read, the music I listen to, or the drinks I swallow? What if they don’t think I’m “Christian enough,” “godly enough,” “Baptist enough?”  

Distorted, identity lie: “I need to be a perfect Christian.”

Jessica’s Crappy-Pseudo, Professional Identity Struggles: 

Am I prepared enough? Do I research enough? Should I know more of the cutting edge treatment models? Am I too warm? Am I too kind? Am I too honest? Am I too direct? Am I too structured? Should I be less leading? Am I being successful at helping people change…heal…grow…learn? What if I make a mistake? 

Distorted, identity lie: “I need to be a perfect therapist.”

Jessica’s Crappy-Pseudo, Parent Identity Struggles: 

Am I being too hard on them? Should I expect more of them? Am I making excuses for them or explaining their behavior? Am I shoving Jesus down their throats? Do they know I love them? Am I scarring them? Do I discipline at the heart-level? Am I practicing what I preach? Do they think I’m always irritated with them? Are they fearful of displeasing me?

Distorted, identity lie: “I need to be a perfect parent.”

And those are just a few of the biggies.

 

 

I would never walk around declaring to the world and those around me, “I perfect Christian,” or “I perfect therapist,” or “I perfect parent,” so why in the world do I work so hard to maintain an identity that isn’t really mine? Why do I try so hard to maintain a descriptive, temporary label? Why in the world do I fear not being “enough of something” when that “something” isn’t even supposed to define me? Why?

Crappy, pseudo identities.

Distorted lies from the pits of hell. 

False labels. 

Silly, stupid things that promise to bring us an important, significant, noticed place. 

As a follower of Jesus, I am not defined by any of those things. Not a single one. My place in His kingdom has nothing to do with how “good” of a Christian I am. My forgiveness isn’t rooted in how “good” of a therapist I am. My hope and security doesn’t have anything to do with how “good” of a parent I am. NOT AT ALL.

Sure, Jessica is a follower of Jesus, a therapist, and a parent (just like Evie is “three”), but those are just my descriptive roles; they are not…and should not…and cannot be my defined identities and my eternal labels.

Why?

Because… “I is a sinner saved by grace, living in mercy, and headed for my heavenly home.” 

THAT is what Jessica is, and THAT is what she needs to be exclaiming.

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Mom: 30 Thank You Notes

Kids, if you were to write me some “thank you” notes (Jimmy Fallon style) here is how I envision they might read.

  1. Dear Mom, thank you for keeping me alive.
  2. Dear Mom, thank you for consistently getting up in the middle of your dinner  to wipe my bum in the very nasty public bathrooms.
  3. Dear Mom, thank you for washing clean clothes that were never dirty. Not even a little.
  4. Dear Mom, thank you for finding everything I thought I lost but was really right in front of my face.
  5. Dear Mom, thank you for insisting that I not ingest mold.
  6. Dear Mom, thank you for carrying all the snacks all the time for all my hunger needs.
  7. Dear Mom, thank you for dealing with all those “easy-open” ketchup packets.
  8. Dear Mom, thank you for hoisting me in and out of my car seat 56,329 times a week.
  9. Dear Mom, thank you for not sleeping in past 8 AM; I like to get a head-start on my day.
  10. Dear Mom, thank you for giving up on keeping the bathroom sink clean; it feels overwhelming when it doesn’t have toothpaste in it.
  11. Dear Mom, thank you for your amazing ability to drive down the highway at 75 MPH while simultaneously opening up a cheese stick.
  12. Dear Mom, thank you for not being one of those seven kinds of animal species that eat their young.
  13. Dear Mom, thank you for all the times you cleaned the bathroom rugs because of my misplaced urine.
  14. Dear Mom, thank you for keeping me from digging through the tampon box on the side of every bathroom stall in America.
  15. Dear Mom, thank you for begging me to wear a jacket. You were right; it is kinda cold sometimes.
  16. Dear Mom, thank you for helping me with my 23 wardrobe changes a day; I couldn’t do it without you. In fact, I refuse to do it without you.
  17. Dear Mom, thank you for never being so invested in a task that I don’t feel like I can interrupt you.
  18. Dear Mom, thank you for buying me that set of 101 plastic army guys. My favorite part is watching you step on them; it’s like watching a real war.
  19. Dear Mom, thank you for wearing black yoga pants on most days; I feel less worried about putting my boogers on you when you are wearing that kind of outfit.
  20. Dear Mom, thank you for reminding me 333 times during one meal to sit on my chair; I seem to remember best on that 334th time.
  21. Dear Mom, thank you for being okay with your shower looking like a blue, plastic kiddie pool.
  22. Dear Mom, thank you for adding “socks” as a budget line item; I can’t seem to keep them on my feet or in our house.
  23. Dear Mom, thank you for always pretending to be on the phone; I know you’re just trickin’ me when you act like you’re talking to someone.
  24. Dear Mom, thank you for buying me clothes; I love pulling on the necks and chewing on the sleeves.
  25. Dear Mom, thank you for never replacing the carpet; that would be too much pressure.
  26. Dear Mom, thank you for finally understanding that it will take me 2.7 seconds to put on my shoes if we’re going to the park, but 978.3 seconds if we’re going to the grocery store. They really are so very different.
  27. Dear Mom, thank you for all the pulled muscles you have endured, so that you can steer the GINORMO car-cart down the very-small grocery aisles.
  28. Dear Mom, thank you for saving all of your serious conversations with dad for after I go to bed; I know you’re really exhausted by that point, but I really hate sharing you.
  29. Dear Mom, thank you for giving up on the belief that pillows are meant to stay on the couch.
  30. Dear Mom, thank you (again) for keeping me alive. You really are the very, VERY best.

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Your Brother Was a Train Wreck

Evie,

I’m writing this note to you, real quick before I head to bed, because I want you to know just how much your brother loves you. And though I trust you will feel it, see it, and hear it in many ways throughout your sibling life, I don’t want my memory to fail this memory. So tonight, I write.

There are 12 days left of your brother’s very first year of school, and today (Wednesday, May 10th), I received a note from his teacher.

A portion of it read as follows:

“I just wanted to give you a heads up that Caden was very upset today.  He kind of shut down and was crying that he wanted to go home.”

There were a few more details to the letter (none that really add to the story), but that was the summary of the note.

Your brother was upset; he shut down; he started crying; and he wanted to come home. 

I’m not gonna lie, I was terrified when I read the words. There was 45 minutes left in the day, and I had no clue what was going on–no idea what precipitated this, nor the state of his little heart.

Was he still crying? What happened? Did he lash out? Did someone hurt his feelings? Was he scared? Did someone say something? Was the math difficult? How was my baby boy?!?!

The minutes seemed to drag, so when the clock finally read 10:50 AM, I was out the door in a hot second. Honestly, I couldn’t get to that little brick building fast enough. Thank goodness the school is only two doors down from our front porch; mama couldn’t have handled a third door.

Scanning the line of huddled Kindergartner’s, I found your brother. As soon as our eyes met, he ran for me. Rubbing his head and squeezing his shoulders, I told him to wait while I chatted with his teacher.

Quickly, his teacher and I connected, allowing some space for a few more details to be shared.

“He handled his emotions really well; I was impressed. He used his words; he controlled himself; and he shared his frustrations. It’s obvious that you guys have worked with him on how to handle difficult emotions [lady, you don’t even know the half]. I felt so bad because I’ve never seen him so upset.”

She shared a few more details and then asked, “Did something happen before school?”

It hit my mama-heart right in the head!

THAT WAS IT.

YOU WERE IT. 

Evie, it was you!!! 

In that moment, I KNEW. Without a shadow of a doubt, I knew YOU were the trigger for your brother’s train wreck of a morning.

Rewind…

15 hours before that, at about 8 PM, you were brushing your teeth. Insistent and independent, you were standing on the bathroom toilet brushing your little teeth. You’ve done it a 101 times before, but last night you fell. Hitting the floor, you split your lip. Blood was everywhere, and there was a chunk of your lip missing. Since we weren’t home (Daddy and I were at a Yankees-Reds game in Cincinnati), your Papa did a beautiful job cleaning you up and soothing you. The bleeding had slowed down, and you were tired.

When Daddy and I returned, about 11:15 PM and we heard the news, we immediately ran to your room.

We weren’t sure what to do (didn’t want to over-react and didn’t want to under-react), so we decided to take the route of possibly “over-reacting.” With your blankie, monkey, and paci, your daddy wrapped you up and headed to the local ER. At midnight, you were admitted and by 3 AM, you were back home with a swollen lip, a new stuffed puppy that you named “Woofer-Stitch,” and three stitches on your upper lip.

Daddy said you were a champ. Apparently, you had the medical staff laughing and didn’t shed a tear through the entire process. As always, you took things in stride with a smile on your face…even in the middle of the night with a busted lip.

Your brother had slept through the whole thing, though he was there when the accident happened, but he didn’t know you had made a trip to the ER. So when he woke up this morning and I told him why you weren’t awake and why daddy was still asleep, he was bothered. He didn’t say a whole lot (that’s your brother), but I could tell he was upset. At one point, he told me he was “tired” and “wanted to stay home”–an excuse I had NEVER heard before.

He must be ready for summer, I thought, and simply moved on with the slicing of bananas and the pouring of Corn Chex.

Honestly, I didn’t think a whole lot about any of it. I sent him to school and went back to bed.

So when his teacher asked if something had happened before school, all the pieces fell right into place.

We finished up our brief conversation; I thanked her for her kind care; and I headed home with my boy’s hand in mine.

“Buddy, how was your day?”

“It was kinda bad,” he quietly responded.

“It was? What happened?”

In pretty much the exact same order, he unraveled the events of his morning at school. But then he added a detail that his teacher hadn’t known and I hadn’t heard.

“Mommy, I was just so worried about Evie. I just wanted to come home. I just wanted to be with you and her.” 

Bursting into torrential tears and thundering sobs, he fell into my arms on the stairs of our porch.

Evie, he cried sad, fearful tears over you. Your brother was worried about you, afraid for you, and sick over you. He couldn’t concentrate; he wanted to leave a place he usually enjoys; and he got incredibly overwhelmed with all his sister-emotion. Evie, he crazy loves you.

So after we had processed through some more of his feelings, talked about the helpful ways he responded, and brainstormed how to handle future feelings in a public setting, he was more than ready to see you.

Throwing open the door, he immediately yelled for you.

“Evie!?! Evie!?!” 

And when you came bounding around that table with a stuffed puppy in your arms and a stitched lip, I could see the relief flood over him. His eyes brightened and he ran right for you.

“Evie, are you okay? Let me see your lip.” 

He just needed to see you.

He needed to know you were okay.

He needed to know you were still Evie.

I know he might not talk a whole lot, hug a whole lot, or gush a whole lot of his feelings, but your brother is crazy about you, sweet girl. Absolutely crazy about you.

I know there will be times when you may question that, wonder about that, or down-right not believe that, but he does. He really, really does. Which is exactly why I wanted this to be in your memory stash…your sister-stash.

In fact, he loves you so much that tonight, after his very first T-Ball game, he saved his cupcake for you.

“Here Evie, here’s my cupcake. I know you didn’t get one, and I know your lip has been hurting, so here’s my cupcake. You can have mine; I don’t need to have one.” 

Yes, Evie. THAT is the kind of crazy-love I’m talking about–the kind of crazy-love that causes him to not only have a train-wreck Wednesday, but also a crazy-love that is willing to give up his special, cupcake snack.

Hold fast to that, my sweet girl. Your brother loves you. He loves you very, very much.

Love,

Mommy

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Happy (early) Mother’s Day

Last week, in the middle of dinner, our son bounded over to my husband’s place at the table and gave him a great, big squeeze.

No prompting. No reason.

Just a love-hug in the middle of family dinner.

Shortly after, our daughter leaned in and said, “Daddy, I give you a ’tiss’?”

Two seats away, my husband was getting showered with love while I was sitting alone with me, myself, and my sweet potato curry.

Not gonna lie, it hurt.

Why don’t I get random hugs? Why don’t I receive spontaneous kisses? Why are both of our kids touching and loving on their father (whose love language is admittedly NOT “physical touch”)?!?!?!

Mama was miffed. 

Rehearsing the mental list of all I do for them, I stewed as I stirred my spiralized, potato noodles.

I buy their clothes; I wash their clothes; and I get stains out of their clothes. I dust their house; vacuum their house; and keep their house from feeling like a barn. I coordinate their play-dates; I make their dinners; and I plan their birthday parties. I keep their memories; take their photos; and document all their “firsts.” I cuddle them in the morning, read to them in the afternoon, and soothe them at night. I take them on surprise trips for Chipotle, chicken nuggets, and ice cream cones. I talk them off their emotional-ledges; I process their fears and feelings; and I draw-out their scary and sad. I let them take bubble baths in the middle of the day; I let them cover their naked selves in shaving cream while practicing letter recognition; and I let them pour and play with a 5lb bag of beans in the middle of our living room floor. I conduct science experiments, make paint from weird substances, and create Nerf Gun competitions for them and their friends. I make sure their homework is done, their library books returned, and their ungodly amount of school papers are signed and sent back to school. I wipe their bums 378 times a week, re-fill their cups 2,467 times a week,  and wash 18,926 of their dishes a week. I take them to story hour, to gymnastic classes, and to both their sick and well doctor visits. I schedule their eye appointments, their hair cuts, and their art camps. I teach them; I encourage them; I care for them; and I bear with them. I keep them from killing themselves, killing each other, and killing the random soul at the play area who just body-slammed them to the ground. I play on the floor with them, run at parks with them, and hit grounders to them at the local field. And not to mention, I locate all of their lost belongings, help them change in and out of their clothes all day long, and can successfully hear my name being called from the basement, attic, or side yard.

I DO A LOT.

Now I’m not saying my hubby doesn’t “do,” because trust me, he “does” (I write blogs about his amazing-ness; see exhibit A and exhibit B)…but HELLO?!?!?! How ’bout a little huggy-hug for your hard-working, fun-creating mama?!?!

I’m pretty sure I didn’t think about my response.

Like at all.

Because if I had, I probably wouldn’t have referenced a gross piece of meat– of which neither of my kids have probably ever heard uttered in their short lifetimes. But I wasn’t thinking; I was feeling.

“So what am I? Chopped liver?”

My daughter looked at me with big, confused eyes. I’m pretty sure the look communicated something like, “Oh hey! You are here?! I thought it was just daddy and me.”

(Okay, okay…I was being overly sensitive in that blip of time.)

Again, I spoke.

“Why don’t IIIIIIIIIIIIIII ever get random hugs and kisses?”

(Seriously, I probably sounded a tad bit whiny, and a little bit sad, and a whole lot dramatic.)

Without missing a beat and with the sweetest of eyes, my son said, “Oh, Mommy. It’s just because you’re always there.” 

Now I realize I could have heard his words as, “We take you for granted,” but I didn’t.

In that very moment, it was all my mama-heart needed to hear.

I felt him say, “You’re safe.”

I heard him say, “You’re consistent.”

And I heard him say, “We love you, Mommy, because you’re always there.”

Though it might not seem like “enough,” it was and it is…enough for me.

Why?

Because I am one of the few people in their lives who gets the privilege of being known as consistently there, as consistently safe, and as consistently loving. 

And as I have thought about his words and the truth of this mama-reality, I am grateful for the beautiful treasure I possess as their mama.

Sure, I might not always get the “flashy and the fun” or the spontaneous, feel-good hugs around the dinner table on a Tuesday night when Daddy is present, but I get the honored gift of having a front-row seat to their day-in and their day-out.

I get the honor of caring for them and loving them a majority of their little days.

I get the honor of providing safety, stability, and security for their little souls.

I get the honor of modeling “consistency,” “dedication,” and “sacrificial love” for their little selves.

And I get the honor of encouraging them, teaching them, and molding them–building into their little lives for all the little seconds.

Because if there is one thing I want my kids to really believe and truly embrace for all the days of their precious lives, it’s the spoken words of my six year-old son.

“It’s just because you’re always there.” 

Mamas, you are cherished for the beautiful consistency you provide; you are treasured for the ever-safe place you create; you are admired for the life-changing love you offer; and you are dearly esteemed for being the ever-present, always-there, steady-ready gift of love your children crave and desperately need.

 

Happy (early) Mother’s Day, you are celebrated!

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42 Things I Want You to Know about Sex

Tonight, you saw your daddy grab my bum. And ya know what? I’m okay with that. In fact, I am COMPLETELY and ENTIRELY okay with that.

Why?

Glad you asked.

In fact, while I’m at it, I’ll go ahead and share a whole list of things I want you to know (over time) about sex.

Make no mistake, you’ll hear these words come straight from your mama’s mouth as you grow, but figured it wouldn’t hurt to get a head-start on brainstorming my list.

So here goes…

  1. Sex is not a naughty, cuss word.
  2. Sex was God’s idea, not man’s.
  3. God wrote about sex. If you don’t believe me, check out that little book called “Song of Solomon.” Kids, that “garden” wasn’t filled with tulips and that “cluster of grapes” wasn’t attached to a vine.
  4. Sex is like riding a roller-coaster. It’s safe when you wear the harness, but it’s not safe when you don’t. Marriage is the harness that God intended; wear the harness………………………………..
  5. Sex outside of marriage can cloud your judgment and lead you down a bunch of unwanted paths.
  6. Though sex may feel good, it doesn’t mean it is “good.”
  7. Sex is never casual.
  8. Sex is not supposed to happen in a group or on the computer.
  9. You don’t have to have sex with someone to know you love them.
  10. Sex outside of marriage is sin.
  11. Sex outside of marriage can have long-reaching consequences.
  12. Sex outside of marriage is not an unforgivable, unpardonable sin.
  13. Intercourse is not the only thing that falls into the “sex box;” don’t fool yourself.
  14. “Having a baby” isn’t the main reason why we abstain from sex outside of marriage………………………………..
  15. Men like sex.
  16. Women like sex.
  17. Christian men and Christian women like sex.
  18. Sex is not just a “worldly activity.”
  19. The world has distorted sex and demeaned sex.
  20. The world has glorified sex and glamorized sex.
  21. The Christian culture has squashed sex and silenced sex.
  22. The Christian culture has let the world lead the conversation on sex, and it’s been a disaster.
  23. Sex can be awkward to talk about; your parents are okay with awkward.
  24. Sex can be weird to ask questions about; your parents are okay with weird questions.
  25. Silence breeds shame.
  26. Shame builds secrets.
  27. Sex doesn’t need to be a shameful secret we “google” on our computers and process on our own.

    ……………………………….

  28. Marriage is more than sex; much, much, MUCH more than sex.
  29. Sex is ONE way to express love; it’s certainly not the ONLY way.
  30. Sex is a healthy and normal part of marriage.
  31. “Lots of sex” is not necessarily an indicator of a healthy marriage.
  32. “Little sex” is not necessarily an indicator of an unhealthy marriage.
  33. Sex is part of a covenant, not a contract.
  34. Sex can be abused in marriage.
  35. “Movie sex” is not necessarily “marriage sex.” You’re a partner in a marriage, not an actor in a movie.
  36. Your sex life does not need to be compared with that of your friends. You are not your friends and your friends are not you.
  37. Sex takes work.
  38. Sex takes time.
  39. Sex takes communication.
  40. Sex is not only about her.
  41. Sex is not only about him.
  42. Sex is about loving him, loving her, and honoring Him.

And that’s all I got for right now.

But rest assure, I’ll be thinking of more and taking notes as they come. Because in all honesty, kids, these conversations are absolutely necessary and absolutely good–conversations that can’t be ignored, shouldn’t be dodged, and most certainly won’t be shoved in this house. The reality is…we love you too much to avoid a little bit of awkward.

Oh, oh…just thought of some more!

43. Your parents have sex.

44. Your parents like sex.

45. Your parents have had sex on the…

Okay, okay…I won’t take notes on everything.

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