On Being Transparent

Friday Roundup on To Love, Honor and VacuumHow necessary is transparency in our witness?

I want to talk about that a little bit today in my Friday Round-Up!

Every Friday I like to share the biggest posts of the week here at the blog–let you know which ones really resonated, in case you missed them so that you can keep up. And often older posts start to go crazy again, and many of you haven’t been reading this blog that long and may have missed some of those older ones! So here’s your chance to read some of the oldies but goodies.

And today I also want to talk about authenticity and how we point people to God.

So here we go!

What’s #1 at To Love, Honor and Vacuum?

How to Initiate Sex with Your Husband--witout feeling awkwardSplitting Household Chores: If I'm a stay at home mom, does that mean I have to do everything? A look at how to divide things so you all have fun!#1 NEW Post on the Blog: Do Stay at Home Moms Have to Do All The Housework?
#1 on the Blog Overall: Top 10 Ways to Initiate Sex
#1 on Facebook: Why We Grew Apart (I was really vulnerable here!)
#1 on Pinterest: Why I Didn’t Rebel (a post my daughter wrote when she was 19)

On Transparency and Authenticity

On Tuesday I published a post asking, “Do too many people in our society think a good marriage is a pipe dream?” In other words, have young women given up on the idea of finding a good guy and getting married? I think many have, because they’ve never seen it. And then when they see pictures of happy young wives, it must look like something totally alien to them–“that could never be me.” So I asked–how do we show people that it is possible? How do we integrate people into the church?

I had a few commenters say, “we as Christians should stop portraying the perfect Christian family–stop putting those perfect pictures up on Facebook because they turn people off.

Then on Thursday Meredith Carr wrote a guest post for me called “An Answer to the ICK“–all about what to do when you’re a stay at home mom and you get grumpy. She described a grumpy day and then pointed people back to Christ in the middle of it.

I had a commenter questioning whether it was right to portray motherhood as so bad, because it turns people off of motherhood.

I just thought that was funny–I’m getting criticized from both sides. One side says we shouldn’t show the happy side of family life and one side says we shouldn’t show the frustratingly grumpy side of family life!

Here’s what I think: we should be real. That’s it. Just be real! We should show all sides of life!

The two young women I referenced in Tuesday’s post who took that picture of their twin baby bumps on Facebook were being real (I know them in real life; they both do have good marriages and they’re both very happy). Meredith on Thursday was also being real.

All we can do is be real.

When we try to portray something other than what we are, we lose our authenticity.

And it is our authenticity that brings people to Christ.

Yes, there is a principle of appealing to people where they are at. In 1 Corinthians 9:20-22, Paul writes:

20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.

However, what he is talking about there is primarily a cultural thing–a whether or not to eat certain meats thing. When he’s with Jews he acts like a Jew so as to not offend. When he’s with Gentiles he acts like a Gentile. We should try to appeal to the culture.

But we should not do that by changing who we are. People long for authenticity, and people want to know what God has done in our lives. We can’t share that unless we also share our need for Him. We must be authentic.

It’s funny, but last Wednesday night I had a totally different idea of what I was going to write for my post last Thursday. I was going to do something on getting out of a rut in the bedroom or something. But I just felt like I was supposed to be vulnerable, and so I wrote a really long post describing some of the troubles Keith and I have had over the last three and a half years.

Nine Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage: Because a Great Relationship Doesnt Happen by AccidentThat post resonated so much, and I’ve received so many emails from it! I just shared that sometimes we struggle too.

Then I saw this review of 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage, written by The Forgiven Wife:
9Thoughts Forgiven Wife

I was very transparent in my new book. I did share a lot of the personal struggles I’ve had in the last few years (which have been rough). And I shared what God showed me through that. If you haven’t read it yet, here are links to everywhere you can get it.

The long and the short of it: I still am grieved by the problem I posted on Tuesday, about how to reach our culture and show our culture that a good marriage is still possible. But I don’t think the answer is EVER to stop being who we are. If anything, we should become more transparent. As we are transparent, people tend to see Jesus. In the words of John the Baptist,

He must become greater; I must become less. (John 3:30)

Want to Be Part of My Girl Talk Tour?

Sheila Gregoire Girl Talk

I’m booking now for my Girl Talk tours for this year, and I have some openings! Girl Talk is such a fun night when I come in to your church and give a talk for women about marriage, sex and intimacy. There’s also an anonymous Q&A period which is always the highlight of the night. If your church wants to be a part, all you have to do is email my assistant Tammy for more information.

November 5-16: North/South Carolina and Georgia
January 9-16: Florida/Georgia/Alabama/Louisiana
February 1-9: Texas
March 8-11: Colorado
Late March: Eastern Seaboard
April 16-20: Alberta
June: Maritime provinces

Next year I’m hitting the west and the heartland (California, Oregon, Washington, the Dakotas, Oklahoma, etc.) But this year that’s where I’ll be! A few of those dates are almost all booked up, but I do have some openings still.

To host a Girl Talk is so easy–we do basically all the work. And we suggest a $10 ticket which usually covers the vast majority of the cost. So it’s a great event for a church to put on, which also works really well as a women’s outreach!

If you want to be a part, email Tammy!

My Baby Girl Comes Home Tonight!

My daughter Katie has been away at university for the last six weeks. That’s the longest I’ve ever gone without seeing her in our lives–although we still talk everyday. And this weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving, so she’s on her way home! I’m so excited!

My older daughter and her husband aren’t coming home, but we’re heading up Monday to make turkey dinner for everybody, so we’ll see them, too. Yay!

If you want to see Katie at university, here’s one of the videos she made last month about how she has no idea what she’s doing:

And on Instagram…

Here’s my top post of the week:

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Grumpy Mom

The Answer to the ICK–When Grumpiness Lurks

Ever come to the end of a day and wonder, "how did I get so grumpy"? Today's guest post is from Meredith Carr from Oceans Deep. She writes great stuff about seeing God in the midst of life with little ones! And today she's going to give us an answer to the "ick"--that grumpiness we all feel sometimes. Recently, my husband and I had a “mountaintop” kind of weekend, where we were alive and vibrant with stimulating spiritual conversation. It was the type of moment you wish could carry on in … Read More...

Trying to conceive? Here's how to keep sex fun when it becomes stressful.

Wifey Wednesday: Making Sex Fun When You’re Trying to Conceive

Can sex still be fun when you're trying to conceive? It's Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and then you all can chime in in the comments. Today let's tackle your sex life when you're trying to have a baby. One of the biggest problems when you're trying to conceive is that it takes all the fun out of sex. Sex becomes so stressful--it's a pass or fail thing, when you'll either get pregnant or you won't--again. It's a job that you have to do at exactly the right … Read More...

The culture of marriage is eroding and we don't all share it anymore.

When A Lovely Marriage Seems Like a Pipe Dream

I was browsing through Facebook recently when a cute picture came up. It was a selfie taken by two pretty women in their mid-twenties trying to show off their baby bumps. They were cousins, pregnant at the same time. They both had on a bit of makeup. They both had long, lovely hair. They both had lovely maternity tops on. And they both were covering their baby bumps with their left hands, with little wedding bands on them. They weren't rich. But they looked lovely. (It's not the picture … Read More...

Splitting Household Chores: If I'm a stay at home mom, does that mean I have to do everything? A look at how to divide things so you all have fun!

Reader question: Do Stay at Home Moms Have To Do All The Housework?

When it comes to splitting household chores, does the wife really have to do all the housework if she stays at home? Every Monday I like to try to answer a Reader Question, and today I've got two quite similar ones from two frustrated moms who feel that their husbands expect them to do all of the housework. One writes: I heard the broadcast on Focus on the Family, and did it ever validate some of the things I've been feeling! I am also a homeschool mom, and I really struggle with the line of … Read More...


October Ultimate Marriage Reading Challenge!

I'm home from our speaking/RV trip, my laundry's done, and tonight my brother-in-law gets married! It's going to be a good day. Every Friday I like to post a Round-Up of what's going on in my life, what was big this week at the blog, and more. I actually shared some pics and some info of my life yesterday, in my raw post about why my husband and I have had a rough few years (and why our RV trip was such a blessing!). So today I'm just going to share what was big at the blog, and then … Read More...

Growing Apart as a Couple--how to pull together when life pulls you apart

Why My Husband and I Had a Rough Few Years

How do you stay close if you're afraid you're growing apart from your husband? I've been writing a three-part series on porn, and I have more I need to say. But I feel like I've been talking ONLY about that all week, and so I'd like to put all of that on hold and come back to it later (I promise). And today I just want to be really vulnerable and share some things with you. My husband and I have had a rough few years. It's not because of anything either of us has done; it's just because of … Read More...

Your marriage CAN recover from his porn use--an inspirational true story.

Wifey Wednesday: You Can Recover from Your Husband’s Porn Use

Can a marriage recover from a husband's porn use? That's the question a reader is going to answer for us for today's Wifey Wednesdsay! A reader recently sent me this beautiful email about porn, redemption, and hope. I wanted to share it with you today, because I know so many of you struggle with your husband’s porn use. Tomorrow I'm going to write a wrap up post on how to fight the porn, not fight your husband, but for today, I thought a story may help. Recently my husband sent me a text … Read More...

Top 10 Ways to Help Your Husband Defeat a Porn Addiction--fight WITH him, not AGAINST him!

Top 10 Ways to Help Your Husband End His Porn Addiction

Can a wife actually help her husband end a porn addiction? Porn is the number one problem that women write in to me about, so I thought I'd spend three days talking about different aspects of it. Thanks for all your comments yesterday on when to invite your husband back into your bed--sorry I didn't join in the discussion! Another twelve hour day in our RV. And today we'll be HOME! So as I'm wrapping up my first RV speaking trip, I've invited Robi Smith from the blog Hopeful Wife Today to … Read More...

Resuming Sex After a Porn Addiction--you need to rebuild trust first!

Reader question: When Do I Invite My Husband Back into our Bed after His Porn Addiction?

If your husband has been battling a porn addiction, when do you invite him back into your bed? Every Monday I like to put up a Reader Question and take a stab at answering it. Today I thought we'd do a 3-part series on battling porn in marriage (since that's the most common problem in the huge backlog of questions I have), starting with this one: how do you re-establish a sexual relationship after pornography? A reader writes: My husband has had an addiction to porn for our entire 13 year … Read More...

2015-09-24 13.44.15

On Slavery, Sadness, and Hope

We're back in Canada! We crossed the border from North Dakota into Manitoba on Wednesday, and later today I'll be leaving to speak at a women's retreat for the weekend north of Winnipeg while my husband goes bird watching. Then we have a REALLY long drive back to southeastern Ontario! Our RV has lots of stickers on it, though! We put a sticker up for every state/province we either sleep in or speak in (so just driving through doesn't count). We've added a bunch of stickers this … Read More...