Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sex Begins in the Kitchen, TBP #35

Sex Begins in the Kitchen: Because Love Is an All-Day Affair by Dr. Kevin Leman.

I read this book so long ago that I barely remember the takeaways. What I do remember is that Leman is funny, lighthearted, and able to write in a way that motivates readers to change things up a bit and create more intimacy — emotionally and otherwise. šŸ˜‰

Perusing it just now, here are three snippetsĀ that you may find helpful:

  • “Throw that tight schedule out the window and do something spontaneous. Inject a little sloppy spontaneity into your lives!” (page 61)
  • “List ten recollections about life going as far back as you can remember.” (page 103)
  • “Take a piece of paper and rank your ten most important priorities in life, and get your spouse to do the same thing. Once you’ve finished, compare lists.” (page 219)

Rating: 2 stars

And I think I’ll keep it on my shelf. The book is written with lots of quick, easy-to-read psychological references and insights into how people think. That’s helpful.


Created to Be His Help Meet, TBP #34

Remember when I began this book project? One of the reasons was to give an account for what I have on my bookshelves.

I was so very tempted to discard this book without mentioning it in the project. Alas, one of the rules I set was that I wouldn’t skip over any books. That I’d touch every single one and decide if it’s a keeper or it goes away. To share it with you. And to post a review if I’ve read it.

I do not endorse this book.Ā Created to Be His Help Meet: Discover how God can make your marriage glorious by Debi Pearl is intended to encourage. And, if you’re one of those women who doesn’t struggle with performance and comparison or insecurity, then this book may be an encouragement. For me, well, I do battle with performance and comparison. And I can be terribly insecure at times and this book doesn’t help in the least. It makes things worse. It’ll go in the ‘go away’ pile.

Rating: 1 star

*I truly believe Michael and Debi Pearl have the best of intentions in their ministry. And I believe their resources have probably helped many. This post is in no way meant to shed a negative light on their work. It just didn’t minister to me — or my marriage.

The Book Project, #19, I Married You

Love this…Ā I opened the front cover and found a yellow sticky note to me from my dad, dated 1994. So this is a book that he gave to us from his personal library.

Published in 1971, I Married You by Walter Trobisch is the author’s account of a marriage conference he taught in South Africa.Ā Trobisch used the analogy of a triangle — or a tent — to describe love, wedlock, and sex. I appreciate how he thoroughly discusses thatĀ those three “forces” are at play before the marriage as well as throughout the marriage.

“God’s will is the interplay of forces. Therefore everything that favors it is in accord with the will of God. Everything that hinders it is not in accord with the will of God.

“This guide is applicable before marriage as well as during marriage. Before marriage you will have to ask yourself the question: ‘Will what we are going to do prepare us later on for the interplay of forces in our marriage, or will it block us and prevent the interplay?’ During marriage, you will have to ask yourself: ‘Will this or that action deepen the interplay of forces, or will it eventually disturb it?’

“The interplay of forces within the dynamic triangle is full of elasticity and creative freedom. In Genesis 2:24, God offers us an image which meets the personal need of every situation, every culture. For the will of God is valid not only for the Christian. It is valid for all mankind.”

Takeaway: There are going to be days when our marriage revels in the sweetness of love and romance. When we’re a team and the game of life is scoring in our favor. And there will be days when there’s misunderstandings, disappointments, and wounded egos. On those days, we’ll look at each other and say with quiet resolve, “I’m glad I married you.”

Something else that I appreciated is that Trobisch says that when a man and a woman leave their parents, cleave to one another in marriage and become one flesh, they are a whole, complete family. Children may come along later, and they are a blessing, but they don’t create a family. The family is created on the couple’s wedding day.

3 Stars. I do recommend it… with the little caveat that Trobisch uses excessive words, losing me at times with way too many descriptive details. (But I relate to that. smile.)

The Book Project, #6, Making Love Last Forever

Ohmyword! Book number 6 is one of my all-time most favorite marriage books ever!

Making Love Last Forever by Gary Smalley

Well, and now that I’ve said that, I read it so long ago, I can’t remember all the specific pearls of wisdom that I gleaned from this book. But it was one of the transformational books for our marriage.

LeRoy likes to highlight in books and write in the margins. (Agh! Something I’ve learned to treasure instead of getting frustrated about.) So, when I flipped through this book, I noticed that he read about half way through. I’m thinking that either he read enough from this book that we grew together or the principles were so easy to discuss and practical to implement that I shared as I read and they resonated with him, too.

Just one of the nuggets we mined from this treasure trove of wisdom was the idea of asking your spouse every single day, “How can I honor you and bless you?” LeRoy has been devoted to asking this question ever since, (16 years?), and here’s what happened: my three boys began asking me on a regular basis, “Mom, how can I honor you and bless you?” (Way to be amazing, LeRoy! I so admire what aĀ loving husband you are and an awesome example to our sons!)


So, 3 stars.

And I highly recommend this book for every married couple and anyone who thinks that maybe they’d like to be married one day.

The Book Project, Book 5

5. Safe Haven Marriage: Building a Relationship You Want to Come Home To by Dr. Archibald D. Hart and Dr. Sharon Hart Morris

No rating — I haven’t read it yet.

Oi. So this is what will happen when I come to a book that I haven’t read yet, but really want to read at some point in the future. I’ll sit here and stare at the book, get a bit overwhelmed momentarily, and then start a “To Read” list, mark it with a bright pink tab and set it back on the shelf.

Moving on.


The Book Project, Book 3

3. Laugh Your Way to A Better Marriage by Mark Gungor

2 Stars

We went through this small group study with… yes, a small group. In fact, if you want to go deep in relationships fairly quickly, move overseas, arrive on Monday, say yes to the gal you meet through a mutual connection on FB who sends you a private message offering to take you to coffee the next day, ask her if she attends church anywhere and tell her your family will join them on Sunday, and then ask if she’s part of a small group, requesting details on when and where and “you don’t mind if we join your group, do you?” [How To Connect With People Quickly, 101. Complimentary course.] One caveat: you have to be authentic and willing to share. Nothing to fear — we’ve encountered the most amazingly gracious people along the way! šŸ™‚

There were a few sessions that lacked depth in my opinion. The best sessions were the ones on purity, especially the one titled “The #1 Key to Incredible Sex.” Also, I deeply appreciated the last session in which Gungor talks about Starting Over… Again and hitting the reset button. Practical advice that sometimes needs to be implemented several times in one day. Ah! The treasure of forgiveness!

I showed the video clip on the difference between men’s brains and women’s brains to my children and it was a lighthearted way to enlighten them… and help them be more gracious and understanding with one another. In fact, just today, my daughter mentioned the “nothing box” as I lamented that I needed some white space. Of course, I have a way of filling all my nothing boxes with something. I would definitely promote this series to teens and college-aged folks! LeRoy and I talked about going through it with the young adults living in our home. Maybe in the next couple of months.



The Book Project

This post is copied and pasted from a Facebook post I wrote earlier today:

My daughter and I were having a conversation the other day. She brought up the fact that I’m a book hoarder (my words, not hers… her words were, “Mom, you have a LOT of books.”). She then went on to ask me how many books that I own have I actually read. Hm. Great question. It got me thinking.

So, I’ve decided to start a project. I’m going to go through all my books. Publicly. In some ways, I think it will be fun. At times, I think I’m going to be embarrassed. (What will people think that I have that book — let alone that I read it… and liked it, too?) What are people going to think when they get to know me better?

You know what they say, “If you want to know what a person values, look at their bank statement/checkbook and their calendar.” Well, I invest a ton of money and time in books… I’m opening up the “accounting book and calendar” to show where it’s been invested.

The other part of this project that is motivating me is the value of contribution. I know that it helps authors get the word out about their book when readers review their book publicly. So, it’s a way for me to contribute — especially after spending my life consuming all those delicious words.

Here are the rules for this project:

ā€¢ I’ll start on the top shelf. Left to right. I have to touch every single book. No skipping.

ā€¢ Every book gets a rating: 1 – 3 stars. One star: I didn’t love it. (Which will force me to ask why I still have it.) 2 stars: It was good. 3 stars: I loved it. It’s a favorite! (I may or may not recommend it based on a few different factors.)

ā€¢ Every book gets reviewed on Amazon. Even if it’s only one line (though some books resonated so deeply that I might be tempted to write a book about the book. Smile.)

Just for fun, I counted how many books on parenting I own. 119. (This project might take a while.)

Question for all you tech-savvy, social media specialists… where would you suggest as the best medium for sharing this project? Right here on FB? A specific FB page created just for this project? My blog?

Excited to get started!

*After receiving advice from friendsĀ I’ve decided to post pictures and reviews here and on a special Facebook Page, and then link them both to my main Facebook page.


How To Start {For Real}

One letter. Word. Sentence. The tumbling and rolling intoĀ a lyrical life.

Create a story.

Your story.

Breathe in. Exhale.

I can hear the ticking of the clock. The seconds rolling into minutes until they all tumble into the stack we call a day.

The fibers of my being are comfortable. I live in Average Land where life is convenient, entertaining, secure. It’s recliner chair cozy.

And for all this, I’m grateful. Beyond grateful. So much so that I could simply curl up with my cup of tea and a good book and wile away the hours. Is this livin’ the dream? I think it is.

As I type this, my family is still asleep. For this moment at least, the universe revolves around me.

So I sit down at the laptop, pull up my inbox on the screen, and there… there’s something about an earthquake? They’re asking for help. For relief.

It is reported that thousands are expected dead. The devastation came while Ā we ate dinner with friends last night and I lamented thatĀ the spaghetti turned out a bit dry becauseĀ the ratio of pasta to sauce went awry. I apologized for not having a salad to serve with the meal.

365 days. The annual reports and goals and all that we have to resolve in the span of 525,600 minutes.

Comfortable is not the same as fulfilled. The game changes if we want to go to that levelĀ of living. It’s no longer a recliner chair mentality. It’ll require something more. A lot of something more.

The words and sentences change. The story tells differently. The world tilts on it’s axis and my breath catches while my feet find their footing in the shift from comfortable to stepping into the tension.