Today is the two-year anniversary of my first post on The Forgiven Wife.
How time flies.
When I started it, I wasn’t even sure I could keep it going for three months. Last year, I wanted to celebrate the fact that I had kept the blog going for a whole year. At one year, the blog still felt like a new thing in my life. As I approached that mark, I was excited to be hitting such a milestone.
This year feels different. In fact, today just kind of snuck up on me. A few days ago, I was trying to remember how long I’d been doing the blog and realized that I had an anniversary coming up. I had a mixed response of “two years already?” and “it’s been only two years?”
The blog is a more integrated part of my life than it was even a year ago. For the first year, it was mostly extra, something that was more peripheral to my life and how I spent my time. During the second year, it has grown into something much more central and prominent in my life.
As I prepare for Year 3, I’ve been reflecting on the ways my life has been shaped by writing this blog.
Real-life effects of the blog on me and mine:
- When people ask me what I do, I now say, “I’m a writer.” I do other things, too, and I get paid for them. What I’m doing here, though, matters more to me than those other things. I am able to see God’s handiwork in my life as a preparation for what I’m doing now.
- I view most of my experiences through the lens of the blog. If something happens in my life, I try to figure out how it relates to marriage and sex. I don’t try to do this; it’s just become automatic.
- My marriage is stronger because of the blog. I spend more time trying to understand and work through our rough patches so I can write about them—but the process of doing that helps me far more than it helps my blog. Big Guy says I’m more attentive to him and to our marriage.
- My kids have street cred. Apparently, the phrase “my mom is a sex blogger” is an interesting tidbit to throw into conversations. The fact that I’m more a marriage blogger than a sex blogger is irrelevant.
- The blogging community has become part of my own personal spiritual development. I regularly chat with blogging friends about blogging, life, faith, etc. I am especially thankful for my online women blogger prayer group. These ladies have helped me through a really rough season in my life. #girltribesrock
- Boundaries have blurred between my blogging identity and the rest of who I am. I now have my real picture (no hiding my face behind my hand or pretending that I don’t wear glasses), I sometimes use my personal social media accounts in interactions related to the blog, and I’ve even used those accounts to share a couple pictures of my husband and me. I’ve even quietly used Big Guy’s real name a few places. These different pieces of myself are pulled together the way I think they should be.
I never know what posts are going to speak to anyone else. I am surprised more often than not. Regardless of reader response to them, several posts from the past year stand out to me.
The Source of Your Beauty God’s hand was in the writing of this post. I felt a vulnerability in writing it. Most people who know me in real life know I’m not generally a vain woman, and despite my weight, I don’t concern myself too much with body image issues. This post reminded me that I still have some things to work on in believing I am beautiful.
Rebuilding His Trust This post is an important and somewhat difficult reminder that when we deprive our marriages of a healthy sexual relationship, our husbands are hurt. We have taught them that they cannot trust us with their sexuality. When we begin to change our own approach to sex, we often expect our husbands to be happy that they’re finally getting what they’ve been requesting for so long. Our husbands have hearts, just as we do, and it takes them time to begin to feel emotionally and sexually safe with us after so much rejection and disappointment.
Silence the Lies So many of us believe lies about sex and sexuality. It was good for me to reflect on some of the processes I have used in combatting these lies as I tried to absorb God’s truth.
The Grief of a Formerly Refusing Wife In order to write some posts, I need to drag my heart and mind back into a time when I was hurting deeply. I came away from this post mentally and physically aching from the writing experience. It was good for me to be reminded of how lovely it is to no longer be experiencing that hurt, but it is hard to inhabit that space even for a short time.
Trapped by Trauma This is the first of a four-part series on working through traumatic experiences of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and sexual assault. I consulted with someone who experienced both CSA and multiple rapes as I wrote this. The series didn’t get much reader interaction, but I do think it is a good starting point for someone who is struggling to figure out how to even begin dealing with past sexual trauma.
Six Things to Know About Sexual Refusal This post speaks the truth of how many men experience sexual deprivation in their marriages. It angered a lot of people and sent negative attention and hate mail my way. It was a very difficult experience in many ways—yet I am glad I wrote it. Several people have written to me to thank me and say that it has changed their marriages in positive ways. Even in other places online that were speaking harshly about the post, conversations were happening in the comment sections about the importance of sex in marriage. It is good to have those conversations and for people to think about the full scope of marital intimacy.
Dear Sister This is my favorite post as it speaks the most deeply from where my heart is now. I often imagine myself sitting in a coffee shop with a woman as I write my posts, so it has a natural feel to me. I’m pretty sure that God wrote this one. I sat at the laptop, closed my eyes, and typed the entire first draft with my eyes shut, barely aware of what I was typing. It was the most memorable writing experience I’ve ever had. I did open my eyes for the editing, though.
During the past year, I’ve come to see the blog not just as a blog but as part of a ministry. I have been doing other writing, beyond this blog, and I am preparing myself for non-writing arms of what happens here. I’m thinking about speaking, small group stuff, etc. I’m not sure, but God has put several things in place that have encouraged me to think a step further than what I am doing in this space.
I am grateful that God has given me a sense of purpose through this blog and pray that what happens here makes a difference in women’s hearts and in marriages.
I am especially thankful to those of you who read, email, and comment. May God bless your marriages.