Some Fun Things on Friday!

What I’m Up To

So I’m in New Orleans right now, on a conference with my husband and giving my Girl Talk at a few groups.

New Orleans Stage

Didn’t they decorate the stage beautifully? I’ll put more pics up on Facebook soon!

Yesterday morning my daughter and I got our nails done on Canal Street. And it was our first manicure ever. Seriously. I’ve never done my nails before!

They look black in this picture; they’re actually purple. So much fun!

New Orleans Nails

And so far I’ve tried gumbo, jambalaya, boudin, beignets, oysters (didn’t like them), and crawfish ettouffee (seriously good).


Our impressions of New Orleans: lots of sirens. All the time. Amazing food. Too much voodoo. And kinda sad with all the strip joints. It’s beautiful, but it’s HEAVY. And not just with humidity, either.

Had a wonderful time speaking in Lafayette last night, though! Great group of women.

Viral Facebook Stuff

And I don’t have time to post much today, so a few quick things that have been up on Facebook lately–and that have gone crazy!

Daily Renew Love Bathing

Isn’t that the truth?

Submission NEVER means putting up with abuse: on Debi Pearl, submission, and wife abuse.I posted a link to this amazing video about an adoption. I dare you to watch it without tearing up!

Here’s an older post about how submission doesn’t mean putting up with abuse. It went nuts last weekend. And then I read this post by Leslie Vernick about the things that we need to help women understand so abuse can be stopped earlier. So good! Leslie’s book, The Emotionally Destructive Marriage, is one of our March picks for the Ultimate Marriage Reading Challenge.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I’m speaking once more in Kenner, Louisiana tonight, and then we’re heading out on a swamp tour and some bird watching this weekend. So great to get away with my husband and daughter–and to be able to combine it with meeting some great women here, too!

One more thing–Katie, my daughter, is trying to get me to use Instagram more. So I am trying to post more pics when I travel and more funny things about my life. If you want to follow me (I will get better!), I’m right here.

On Texas, Girl Talk, and Lots of Questions!

Sheila Gregoire's Girl Talk Event

I’m in Texas! Last night I gave my Girl Talk in Houston, launching a 5 day tour I’m taking through the Lone Star state, speaking in San Angelo, Seminole, Austin, and San Antonio. I’m here with my friend Tammy, and we are just loving how warm it is. Tammy lives in Quebec City and she left behind 6 feet of snow. I’m in southeastern Ontario and I left behind 2 feet of snow. Seventy degrees is seriously better!

I met a bunch of people from the blog yesterday, too. I guess I have a lot of readers in Texas, and many came out to say hi and take some pics. So much fun to actually connect in person to people who read me everyday!

And I met J. Parker from Hot, Holy and Humorous! J and I have been online buddies for years, and we’ve talked on the phone, but never actually met. She took us out for lunch and we caught up, and then she came to the event. Here we are holding each other’s books.


I spend the first part of my talk discussing how God designed sex and why on earth He made men and women relate to sex so differently (believe me, there’s a reason). Then we have a break, and during the break people have the opportunity to leave anonymous questions. After the break I answer as many as I can in 15 minutes, and then talk about how to make sex great in three different ways–spiritually, physically and emotionally.


It’s funny, because I can almost always predict what 6 of the questions will be. I usually always get them. And then at each venue there are always a few new ones, which makes it fun.

But every Monday I usually post a reader question and answer it, and I’m sorry that I don’t have time to do that today. But it occurred to me that you all may not realize that I do have a place where you can look up my answers to the most frequently asked problems. Almost all the emails that come in relate to questions that I have already answered on the blog–you just may not know where to find those answers.

So since I don’t have time to post today, I thought I’d point you all to the one central place that you can likely find answers to some of the things that are bugging you. Here it is–my Marriage FAQ.

Tons of Links to Articles Addressing Common Marriage Questions

If you’re in the Austin/San Antonio/Seminole area, I hope to see you this week! Just click on “Events” above to get taken to my schedule, or take a look on Facebook. And I know that next year I’ll be heading through Chicago, Louisiana, and Texas again, as well as booking other states. So if you’d like to be included in the tour, just email Tammy.

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Why It Can Be Hard to Respect Your Husband

Speaking in Whistler

My husband and I just spent a weekend speaking at the FamilyLife Canada Weekend Getaway marriage conference in beautiful Whistler, British Columbia! So much fun. I love speaking with him. And today I just want to share something I told the women in the women’s only session about how to respect your husband.


I love speaking with my husband. I spend most of the year doing my “Girl Talk” event, where I come into churches and talk about marriage and sex, or doing women’s retreats, when I talk about how to trust God–no strings attached. And I do love speaking to women’s groups. But speaking with my husband is great because we get a bit of a break, away, and we get to do something together! Plus the more we talk about marriage together to prepare, the better our marriage gets.


I have no idea what we were saying here, but these are awesome expressions:

Speaking at FamilyLife

Funny story: we had a bit of a conflict before the giving the conflict talk–and the conflict talk went great! I told Keith we should do that more often. Then he said, “Well, the sex talk is next…”

Anyway, during the women’s talk I was sharing what I think is one of the problems women have with respect and husbands.

Men Are Like Waffles--Women Are Like Spaghetti: Understanding and Delighting in Your DifferencesIt all starts with that waffles/spaghetti thing, explained by Bill and Pam Farrel in their book Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti. Basically, men are like waffles: they live their lives in boxes. When they’re in their work box, they’re thinking about work. If work is good, they’re happy. When they’re in their home box, they’re thinking about home. They tend to focus on one thing at a time.

Women aren’t like that. We’re multitaskers, and little bits of spaghetti weave their way into everything. It’s really so that children don’t die. We can wash dishes and talk on the phone and make sure that a child is safe all at the same time. Our brains are in multiple places at once.

It’s a good thing usually.

But this spaghetti, multitasking thing can be bad when it comes to respecting your husband.

Here’s why: Let’s say that your husband has one major area of weakness. Maybe he’s bad with money. Maybe he struggles with porn. Maybe he yells too much at the kids. These are all bad things, and they do need to be worked on. Absolutely. But because we’re spaghetti, we see these bad things, and these bad things worm their way into everything else, so that we’re really incapable of seeing our husbands as good anymore. That one bad thing has clouded everything.

I’ve seen this with friends of mine. He struggles with one area, but let’s say he’s a great dad. She never, ever praises him for being a great dad, because really, how can he be a great dad if he’s also bad with money–or struggling with porn? Sure he may have fun with the kids, but that doesn’t make up for it, does it?

Or let’s say that he texts you something nice, or he buys you flowers. You assume that he’s trying to make up for something bad he did, rather than just trying to show you love. All the bad stuff worms its way in, and you can’t see anything he does in a positive light.

What does that do to a marriage? A man may have an area he really needs to work on (we all do, after all), but it will be much easier to work on that area together if you are also thanking him for the things that he does do well. If you acknowledge those things and look for them and thank him, he’ll feel appreciated. And when you feel appreciated, you will want to work on your bad spots. You will know that you aren’t a failure; this is just one area, and you can tackle it together.

On the other hand, if you never thank him for anything, because how could you respect a guy who does X, then he will feel “nothing I ever do is good enough”.

And if he feels that, he’ll be too demoralized to try to work on the big thing.

So that’s my challenge to you today: fight against the spaghetti principle, and start really thanking him for what he does do well. Don’t let one thing impact the whole way you see your marriage.

I hope that helps, and I can’t wait to speak with Keith again!

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Random Thoughts, Respect, and Reading!

I’ve been sitting here staring at my computer screen for about 15 minutes trying to figure out what to write. I have a backlog of Reader Questions to answer, and usually I do those on Mondays, but I feel a little brain dead right now.

…Speaking at a Weekend Retreat

I’m just back from speaking at a women’s retreat up in Muskoka (northern Ontario), and it was a riot! I shared about living “No Strings Attached”, about the things that we often hold back from God and the things that keep us from living a full life.



And we ended up cutting some of those strings!


We talked about how when we live wholly for God, we live a bigger life. It’s scarier. It’s more risky. But it’s so much more worthwhile.

Specifically I was sharing from my book How Big Is Your Umbrella, which talks about the things that we yell at God when life is really tough, and what God whispers back. You can get that book as part of the Christian Living Bundle Sale–85 + ebooks, courses, and mp3 downloads, worth over $1100, for just $34.95. But it’s up tonight at midnight EST! Check out all the books you get in this post.

This Bundle sale is now over, but the awesome people at the Ultimate Bundles website offer about 6 bundles a year on different topics--and it's always about $1000 worth of digital products for $29.97. Sign up to be notified of the next bundle! (They have homemaking, digital photography, healthy living, work at home business, and more!

Two of my closest friends came up for the weekend with me, which was fun. But it SNOWED! It is way too early for winter, even for this Canadian girl.


…I Don’t Like My Gall Bladder

…and I’d really like to see it gone. Unfortunately it’s not cooperating, and all the tests they’ve done so far haven’t shown anything conclusive. But I’m just sure that’s my problem. The good news? I’ve switched my diet to completely clean eating. The bad news? Yesterday I was tired and hungry and busy so we cheated and went to a restaurant where I thought I was ordering something relatively safe. I haven’t had an attack in 3 weeks, you see.

But I was up for several hours in pain again last night. Dear gall bladder: go away. Dear doctor: please take it out soon. Thank you.

…Thinking About Thanking Your Man

In other news, I received a neat email from Emily, one of my readers. After reading this post on why a simple thank you can transform your marriage, she told me this:

My husband is away this week. I gave him a pile of notes, one for each day he’s gone. Normally, those would be fairly sappy love notes. This time I tried something different. Each note starts with thanking him for a way he blesses me or our family. I’m hoping that will be more meaningful for him, and it was a fun exercise to come up with 6 different things I appreciate about him.

A great idea!

Lately I’ve been struck by how women tend not to thank their husbands for little things. Sometimes it’s because we’re overwhelmed by all the big things we have to do that saying thank you for something small seems ridiculous. Doesn’t he get how hard we work? But you know, it’s just being polite. And if we look for ways to thank him, I think we’ll notice how many little things our husbands DO do.

I’ve heard of several marriages breaking up this weekend. And it’s made me a little sad, which is perhaps why I’m having trouble thinking of a big overarching theme for a post today. But please, ladies, no matter where you are in your marriage, can you try to say thank you today for something? Just thank him. I have some stories I’d like to share on this but I can’t because they’re not mine to share, but I need to figure out a way to do so anonymously or something, because this is a huge deal. I have seen so many women lately just discount their husbands’ efforts or focus entirely on how hard THEIR lives are (and they are, no doubt), but in so doing they’re pushing their husbands away and they’re losing the intimacy and friendship that could help them get through the difficulties in their marriages.

Just say thank you. Seriously.

Let’s Stop It with the Disrespect

Exhibit A:

Erotica for women today is almost entirely focused on some sort of bondage. When did we decide that a man degrading a woman is sexy and is okay? Sexual play? Fine. Domination and whipping and humiliation? Not okay.

I wrote last week in my post about Pulling Back the Shades that we need to reassess what passes as sexy for women today, and I think this goes to the heart of something important: if we train our society to think that humiliating women is sexy, then why do we think it’s going to stop in the bedroom, or that it will always be between two consensual adults?

Exhibit B:

Up here in Canada there’s a scandal going on regarding one of our country’s most popular news commentary dudes: Jian Ghomeshi. Multiple women have now come forward to say that he forced them into 50 Shades of Grey-like scenarios, and it was definitely NOT consensual. I’m going to write more about this once I’ve been able to process it, but it’s gross.

Exhibit C:

Women are getting incredibly catty with one another. You see it in the celebrity gossip about what starlet hates what other starlet. We see it in TV shows like Desperate Housewives, where the women are at war with each other.

Why should we expect men to respect us if we women don’t even respect each other?

So what can you do? Don’t participate. When you see a link to some article about stars hating each other, don’t click it. Don’t watch shows that have women disrespecting each other. We are never going to create a culture of respect if we allow ourselves to be sucked in by the opposite. Let’s demand more of our media, and more of ourselves.

And for pity’s sake, let’s stop gossiping about other women and let’s try instead to help our friends when they’re going through a tough time. Instead of picking up the phone and talking to another woman about some friend and what she’s doing, just pray for that woman.

…Thinking About Wisdom from of Old

When I did my birthday retreat (I take a day and pray through my goals for the upcoming year, and ask God to give me words and verses and songs that I can cling to for the year ahead), one of the things I did was make a decision to read more GOOD books this year. I don’t tend to read enough since I’m on the computer all day, and at night I just want to collapse and knit and turn my brain off. But I need to go deeper, and so I’ve decided to spend a half hour reading a quality book every night from now on.

And one of the things I decided was that I was going to read more of the Christian classics–Tozer, Dwight L. Moody, etc. They have such interesting things to say, and God used them so mightily, and yet we tend to forget them today.

When I saw how many awesome classics were included in the Christian Living Bundle I got really excited. I’m especially interested in the ones on prayer, since I think God is calling me to learn more about prayer in the year ahead. These classics are amazing (they’re the reason my mom bought the bundle!), and if you want a challenge in your life to go deeper, I’d really encourage picking up the bundle.

I’ve talked mostly about the parenting and marriage books, but the classics are important ones, too. Check them out:

And the devotional ones (including one by Tozer!) will help you in your daily walk, too.

I think we all need more God in our lives, to help us with gratitude and respect and to cut those strings that hold us back. This is a great resource to help you on your walk. And don’t forget–the Bundle is gone tonight at midnight!

This Bundle sale is now over, but the awesome people at the Ultimate Bundles website offer about 6 bundles a year on different topics--and it's always about $1000 worth of digital products for $29.97. Sign up to be notified of the next bundle! (They have homemaking, digital photography, healthy living, work at home business, and more!


Tomorrow hopefully my head will be clear and we’ll be back for Top 10 Tuesday! Thanks for listening to my rant. I think I’ll go for a walk and try to clear my head a little bit more.

Filming at Focus on the Family, Colorado MeetUp, and More!

Last Tuesday I flew from my daughter’s place in Ottawa to Colorado Springs. And I had such an amazing time! I wanted to share with you some of the highlights.

First, I got to speak at a morning meeting for a MOPS group in Denver, since I was in the area.


MOPS groups are so much fun to speak at! My only regret: I didn’t get to hold one of the babies. I just love holding babies. It’s been too long since I’ve had one of my own. but I shared my Girl Talk with them, and we had a Q&A, and it was a riot.

Then I went to the offices of Waterbrook, my publisher for my upcoming 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage.


Since I was going to be in Colorado Springs anyway, my editor arranged for a big meeting with all kinds of people in marketing, publicity, editing, etc. I met all the bigwigs, and we talked for two hours about how they’re going to do the book launch and how they can help. It will be officially out on August 18, and I’m so excited! Now I just have to finish editing it this week…

After that was the big coup de grace–the reason I went to Colorado Springs in the first place. I was filming part of a DVD series for Focus on the Family for newlywed couples, talking about sex. It was so much fun to finally see the building and be part of Focus!

FOTF sign

Then they did my makeup and hair and I got to sit under lights wearing a blue satin top.


Think about that for a moment. Hot lights. Blue satin top.

Let’s just say that after a while I stopped moving my arms.

It sounds like it’s going to be a great curriculum, and I don’t know how many of my stories will make the cut. But I love doing these types of things. Reminds me that I really should film more video for this site, because I like speaking and talking into the camera, and you guys really just read what I write. You don’t hear me. I think I’ll steal the camera back from my daughter, who confiscated it to film her own YouTube videos, and start vlogging myself soon. AFTER I finish the editing of course. Sigh…

Then on Thursday night I had another “meet up”. I emailed everyone on my list who lived in Colorado and told them I’d be at a particular frozen yogurt place on Thursday night. And we had a few turn out! We ended up talking for almost 2 1/2 hours. And no on knew each other beforehand!


We talked about what I should blog about more, about how to teach kids about sex, about submission in marriage, and more! Most of all we just heard each other’s stories.


I went on a few rants, but I think I did less talking than a lot of the others. I can’t tell you how much fun it is to meet people who actually read the blog! There was one couple there who had dated long distance for 3 and a half years before marrying 3 months ago. There was a woman with a 5-month old baby, who had three more little kids at home, who had just celebrated her tenth anniversary. A woman with three teens trying to figure out her place in the world now that her children have grown. Another woman who writes and blogs–like me. And then there was my assistant. I stayed at her house all week and met her family–and met her! And she’s been working for me for 3 years! But it was the first time we were actually together in real life.


So fun to meet Holly.

I heard some great stories that night, and I’d like to share some with you in time. But they’re not mine to tell. I asked one woman in particular to write a guest post, and I think she will. She has some important things to say.

Best of all, I got to tell these people stuff I CAN’T share on the blog about my family and other things. We were all laughing together, and the poor boy working at the yogurt counter (that Holly knew) I think was trying to shut the place down, and we were still talking.

Before we left, though, I asked Lara to teach me how to tie the scarf that she had around her neck–and she did!


On the way to the airport, Holly took me for a drive through “Garden of the Gods”, these amazing rock formations. Here I am by Balancing Rock:


I’m back home now, getting ready to get back to blogging myself and finishing writing. But it was a fun trip, and I wanted to show you some of the things I’ve been doing. Whenever I’m somewhere for a few days I think I will do a meetup–they’re really encouraging for me, too, to meet people who read me regularly, even if they don’t always comment. It’s fun to put faces to my blog readers. And it’s neat to come up with new ideas and to know what they struggle with. The other thing it does is ground me. I have a lot of issues in the comments with people I can’t let through because they’re off on a tangent or rude, or people who have one persistent theological issue they’re trying to push. Because they comment most frequently, it can seem like EVERYONE feels that way. But they really don’t. So it’s nice to talk to “normal” people and know what they’re going through.

My next big trip will likely be Texas in February, and there’s still time to get your church in on that tour! I’m also doing Louisiana in March and Arizona in April. Just email me if you’d like me to come to your church! And be sure to sign up for one of my newsletters, and then you’ll get notified if I’m ever doing a meetup in YOUR area.

One of the biggest points of praise for the trip is that my health was fine. As many of you know, I had some issues last May and needed surgery. Thankfully, those issues have completely resolved. But my body decided there’s no point in being healthy, so let’s get something else to act up! And my gallbladder has, causing tremendous pain. At least, I’m sure it’s my gallbladder, but nothing is cooperating by showing up on tests. So I have a ton more tests ordered, and meanwhile I have to live with it, eating absolutely nothing with grease, etc. The good news: I’m losing weight. The bad news: I feel pretty terrible quite often. But I was really careful last week, and I made it through!

Thanks for reading, everybody! I do appreciate my readers. I’ve had my biggest month ever on the blog, and things keep growing, and that’s really exciting for me. If there are things you want me to share about more, leave them in the comments!

Marriage Events Coming to YOU This Year

I love writing this blog and encouraging you in your marriage. But sometimes we need something in-person, that’s a little more intense. And that’s where going to an actual event can help! Blogs are great, but setting aside time to laugh, hear great teaching, and think and pray about your relationship is essential, too.

So I want to share with you about two great events coming up in North America, and then tell you how you can bring an event to you–if you’re in Texas, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Colorado, or even AUSTRALIA!

British Columbia Weekend Getaway–November 21-23 2014

Keith and I will be heading to gorgeous Whistler, B.C. in November (yay!!!) to speak at FamilyLife Canada’s Weekend Getaway. We’ve been doing this for eight years now, and it’s one of our favourite things to do together. We sharing our stories, our failures, and even making people laugh (or cry!)

Weekend Getaway Whistler British Columbia November 2014

It’s November 21-23 in the beautiful Fairmont Chateau Whistler (we got great rates for all conference attendees! You’ll never be able to stay at this gorgeous hotel this inexpensively again.) Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday morning there are group sessions with individual couple projects. You NEVER have to spill the beans to total strangers; it’s just for you and your spouse. Saturday ends early for date night, and we’re done by noon on Sunday so you can get home to the kids (or enjoy the hotel if you’d rather stay later). And there’s lots of multimedia and fun.

The 2-for-1 deal ends on Monday, so register today! And if you end up coming because you read it on my blog, come and hi to Keith and me while we’re there and introduce yourselves. I’d love to meet more blog readers!

Weekend Getaway Whistler November 21-23

Passion Principles Workshop, October 10-12, 2014, Orange County, California

The Passion Principles: Celebrating Sexual Freedom in MarriageShannon Ethridge, author of The Passion Principles, Every Woman’s Battle, and more, and sexuality speaker and life coach extraordinaire, is delivering a powerful weekend helping women discover their true, healthy passion. She writes:

Does getting attention from men consume your thoughts?

Have you compromised your sexual or emotional integrity in ways you never thought you would?


could you be on the opposite end of the spectrum–where you SHUT DOWN sexually, unsure why you have such little interest in sex at all?

Whether you find yourself swinging too far to the left by acting out, or too far to the right by shutting down, it’s time to find YOUR healthy balance where sex is enjoyed freely without guilt, shame, or inhibition, but only with your husband!

If so, we’re inviting YOU to join us for Passion Principles Workshop for Women

ppfw-450-facebookWhere YOU can learn to:

  • Understand the Fluidity of Female Sexuality
  • Expose the Deeper Meaning Behind Your Own Sexual Thoughts
  • Overcome your negative body image issues
  • Find healing for past sexual abuse or promiscuity
  • Fully Integrate your Sexuality & Spirituality

Whether you’re younger or older, married or single, The Passion Principles Workshop for Women will help YOU experience Sexual and Emotional FREEDOM!

Here’s Shannon talking about her workshop:

Find Your Healthy Balance from New Life Live on Vimeo.

To register or find out more, call us at 1-800-NEW LIFE, or check out their website.

“Girl Talk” Tours Coming to a State Near You!

GirlTalk BannerI’ll be bringing my Girl Talk tour, where I talk marriage and sex, to a church near you (I hope!) It’s a great evening of fun, laughter, and some serious teaching, which works so well as an outreach. Right now I’m booking for the dates and states below, and I would love some help filling up my calendar.

If you know a church that may be interested in having me, please email me their name and contact information, or better still, email me with your email address and then I can send info to you that YOU can pass along.

Please don’t just send me the name of your church; most women’s ministry leaders and pastors get so many emails they don’t always pay attention if an email arrives from someone they don’t know. But if a member of their church forwards information to them–that gets their attention!

So see if you’re in any of the states below:

Colorado, week of October 13, 2014

I’ll be in Colorado Springs filming something for Focus on the Family, and I’d love to speak at a church or two while I’m there! I know this is SUPER short notice, but I bring my PowerPoint and my whole talk, and your church doesn’t have to do a thing except prepare tea and coffee. It’s a super easy event to host!

Email Sheila about Colorado Springs

Pennsylvania, January 16-18, 2015

I’ll be in Pittsburgh, and I’m looking for engagements within 3 hours of that lovely city.

Email Sheila about Pennsylvania

Texas, February 7-13, 2015

Here’s my big tour! I’m coming through the Lone Star State, and I’m looking for churches! I have lots of feelers out, but I’d love some more. I’m so looking forward to only my second time in Texas.

Email Sheila about Texas

Louisiana, March 8-14, 2015

I’ll be in New Orleans, and I’m looking for something within a few hours. If you can get several MOPS groups together, that’s another great option! Let me know.

Email Sheila about Louisiana

Arizona, April 12-17, 2015

I’ll be in Scottsdale for some engagements, but I’d love to fill up my calendar in other parts of the state, too.

Email Sheila about Arizona

Australia, October 5-10, 2015

Yes, Australia! Woo hoo! I’ll be based in Brisbane, but I’m willing to fly to other cities. I mean, how often do I get to Australia? So I’d love to meet all of my Aussie readers!

Email Sheila about Australia

Not in any of those states? When my youngest leaves home, my hubby and I are buying an RV and hitting the road so that we can do more speaking! Whenever I’m planning a tour, I automatically send out emails to everyone on my mailing list who lives in that state to see if they would like to be included. So just make sure you’re signed up for one of my newsletters (like my marriage newsletter), and then you’ll always know if I’m coming to speak near  you!

What I Learned About My Readers from an Ottawa Meetup

Ottawa MeetUp

Last week I was in Ottawa staying at my oldest daughter’s townhouse while my younger daughter was practising for a quizzing tournament with her team. And since I was in a different city, I thought I’d try a “meetup”.

Ever heard of those? Basically it’s when an online community decides to meet “in real life”, and then chat a bit. So I put an announcement out on Facebook and sent a note to people on my newsletter group who were in the Ottawa area, and told everybody I’d be at a certain Menchie’s at 7 p.m. on Friday if they wanted to drop by.

Nine lovely women came by–(let’s see if I can remember all their names): Sonya, Alexis, Colleen, Louise, Danielle, Amelie, Christa, Leanne, Tracy, and me–and one little man:


We started out the evening with something very important. We all got frozen yogurt (which is awesome) except for one poor woman who was on a cleanse. But she’s getting healthy, so that’s good! I was not getting healthy. I used a lot of chocolate toppings. And I don’t regret it.

2014Ottawa Meet Up 1

And then we just gabbed. I asked people’s advice on a Reader Question I’m trying to get ready in the next little while: how do you prepare for marriage long distance? Like, how do you make sure that he’s not a serial killer or something? And we had a great chat about that.

Amelie asked me how in the world I ever got started writing about sex, and we chatted about how it’s hard to find a safe place to talk about it. A number of women said that on getting married they faced an interesting dilemma: they had become Christians later in life, and they wanted to follow God, but they didn’t know what was okay in bed. And so they felt like everything was dirty.

Then another woman piped and said, “you feel that way even if you WERE a Christian your whole life!”

Alexis commented, “that’s why I’m glad Sheila’s here–to reclaim sex. Christians are supposed to know what’s best about it!” And we laughed.

We chatted about how ugly the world has gotten–with pornography, and child prostitution, and erotica. We chatted lots about breastfeeding and keeping your house liveable when the kids are little.

And then, speaking of keeping the place liveable, I decided to open the box of books of my new edition of To Love, Honor and Vacuum in front of everybody.


If you ever feel like you spend your life cleaning up, and nobody really helps you or appreciates you, then this book is great for you!


I had fun figuring out where everybody had first heard of me. Danielle and Sonya had heard me speak years ago in Ottawa. Amelie had found my book report download for homeschoolers (if you sign up for my homeschooling newsletter you’ll get it!). Tracy had met me when Keith and I spoke at a FamilyLife marriage conference. And a number of them commented that I had emailed them back after they asked me a question. That made me feel a little badly because I only answer about 5% of the emails I receive now. I receive so many that my assistant goes through them first. I wish I had more time for personal touch!

Then, after everybody had asked me questions, I had some of my own. A few of the ladies there–like Leanne and Alexis–do comment quite a bit on Facebook and sometimes on this blog, and I’ve met them before. But most read but don’t say a whole lot. Friday, the day of the meetup, was a day with an odd comment thread on the blog after my post “Where’s the Dad?” I was saying that whenever you read a news item of some horrible family thing gone wrong, there’s usually no dad in the picture. We need more dads in the picture.

A number of commenters took me to task, saying that dads aren’t there because of welfare laws, and child custody laws, and rape shield laws, etc. etc., which make men feel marginalized. I agree that the law marginalizes men; I just don’t think that’s an excuse. When you’re standing before God, and He asks, “why didn’t you care for your kids?”, you can’t say, “Because the welfare laws made my one-night stand girlfriend (I forget what her name was now) feel like she didn’t need me.” And then some commenters said that this was actually my fault because I argued that marriage should be a partnership, rather than giving all authority to men. So it’s my fault that men have one night stands with drug addicts? Thanks.

Anyway, these women told me that they hardly ever read the comments, and when they do, they often think these people are bizarre. I think I get caught up in the debate because it’s often these fringe comments that do get made. People who agree don’t say much. So I tend to think everyone thinks the way some of the commenters do. It’s good to know I’m not alone!


And we talked about the polarization in the online world. Here’s an example: with the modesty debate, one side says that women must watch what they dress because they can cause men to lust, and they are responsible for that; the other side says women should be able to wear whatever they want, and men are responsible solely for themselves.

The problem is that if I argue the modesty end of the spectrum is too extreme, people think I’m then saying, “anything goes!” Really, on the vast majority of the issues, I’m just saying the answer is in the murky middle. And yet I get accused of all kinds of things on this blog because I don’t tend to be on either extreme on pretty much any issue.

It was very nice to hear that the vast majority agree with me.

Then Alexis asked a really good question:

how do you teach your 4-year-old not to show her underwear in public without making her ashamed of her body?

Great question! I’m going to have to use it as a post soon, but I’d love some insight. If any of you have any thoughts, please leave them in the comments!

So it was a ton of fun, and the yogurt was great, and it was neat to see people in real life whose names I’ve seen on Facebook. And I think I’ll do it again! So sign up for my newsletters and then check your inbox and check on Facebook. If I’m coming to your neck of the woods I’ll let you know!


6 Ways to Get Great Marriage Inspiration

Hello, everybody!

You have NO IDEA how good I feel now that my book, 9 Thoughts That Will Change Your Marriage, is in with the publisher. I’ll still have edits to do later this summer, but at least it’s written. And I actually kinda like it. :)

So I’m visiting with my oldest daughter right now (and getting to know her boyfriend a little bit better), and helping my younger daughter study for Internationals for Bible quizzing which is coming up. She’s memorized all of Romans and James, and she’ll be competing against kids all over North America. She’s awesome (I’ll put a video up after the tournament).

And I’m reading a novel. It’s a long time since I’ve read one!

So I’m taking it a little bit easier right now. But at the same time I’m doing some housekeeping and changes to make the information I give you even better, so I thought I’d share 6 ways you can keep up with me, and get great marriage inspiration, since I do slightly different things all over the web–and you don’t want to miss any!

1. Don’t Miss a Blog Post!

I know it’s a hassle to click through to the blog everyday. But if you want to make sure you don’t miss anything, here are two easy ways to do it:

OR, if that’s a bit much,

Every week I send out an email with my Friday opinion piece, along with links to everything new on the blog, highlights of the most popular stuff on Facebook, links to older posts that are becoming popular again, and more. So you get a round-up of everything that’s going on on the blog, on Facebook, and on Pinterest–and you can read it all at your leisure! Here’s a recent one, just so you get a sense of what it’s like.

And when you sign up for the weekly roundup, here’s something else cool:

Best of Reality Check

Enjoy this column?

Every Friday I send out my weekly blog roundup--with my Friday opinion piece--and lots that happened on Facebook and Pinterest, too. Don't have time to read the blog everyday? Get the Roundup!

And when you sign up, you'll also receive my FREE ebook The Best of Reality Check, with my 20 favourite columns from my 12 years of writing.

Sign up here!

2. Check out Facebook

The blog is where all my new material is published, but on Facebook I also post inspirational graphics that you can share, links to all my new posts, links to older posts, and questions that readers send in so that other people can give their input. I get a TON of questions, and I can’t turn them all into blog posts. But often my Facebook fans have a lot of wisdom, too!

Do follow me on Facebook–and tell your other Facebook friends about me, too!

I want the kind of marriage that makes my kids want to get married.Share this graphic on Facebook now!

3. Follow Me on Pinterest

Pinterest is so much fun! That’s where I post pins to all my new posts, and a lot of my older ones, but also neat things I’ve found around the web, including some of the latest research on marriage and parenting.

So come on over and follow me there, too!

4. Subscribe to my Marriage Newsletter

Every month I send out my marriage newsletter, and it’s a little bit different from what you’ll read on the blog.

See, right now I have over 1,500 posts at To Love, Honor and Vacuum. That’s a lot! And so every month I try to pick a different theme, and then link to posts on that theme–even (or perhaps especially) if those posts are old. It’s a great way to discover things I wrote years ago that are still relevant, but you likely haven’t seen in your news feed.

Then I also link to all the great marriage posts from the previous month, as well as neat stuff on Facebook and Pinterest.

Here’s June’s newsletter, where the topic was “Getting Ready for Marriage”.

And I’ve just put together a free ebook when you subscribe to my marriage newsletter:

5. Check out To Love, Honor and Vacuum–the Book!

To Love, Honor and VacuumI’m going to be telling you a LOT more about this starting next week and the week after, but the second edition of To Love, Honor and Vacuum has just launched (my official launch will be later this month). If you love my marriage and parenting philosophy, here’s a great book where it’s all rolled up together. Yes, I do talk about sex, but it’s not the primary thing. It’s more about fostering relationships where everyone in the family respects each other, no one feels taken for granted, and you don’t feel like you’re constantly rushing around.

I really love this book, and I know you will, too. If you’ve ever felt more like a maid than a wife and a mother, I know that it will help you refocus and make some changes so that your relationships feed you rather than bleed you. And you’ll learn how to focus on God’s goals for your family rather than the things that seem urgent at the time, but really don’t matter in the long run.

It’s a great summer read to get you on track to launch next year well!

6. Are in Ottawa? I’m doing a Meet up on Friday.

Ever heard of a meet-up? Basically we just pick a date, time, and place, and anyone who reads the blog or is on Facebook is invited to come. And then we all chat, get to know a few people, and laugh about marriage together.

So since I’m in Ottawa visiting, I thought it may be fun to try my first one! I’ll be at the Menchie’s at 1537 Merivale Rd. at 7:00 p.m. on Friday night. I’ll either eat frozen yogurt with way too many chocolate toppings all by myself, or hopefully some of you will show up and we’ll have a great chat and take some selfies. And if it gets too busy, we’ll head over to Salem Storehouse’s coffee shop around 8, which is pretty much next door.


So please come on out! I’d love to meet some of you–and I really don’t want to eat frozen yogurt alone. But if I have to, I will. I’ll update everyone via Twitter about where I am and who is there, and on Facebook as well.

And here’s the really cool thing–I haven’t actually SEEN any paperback copies of the new edition of To Love, Honor and Vacuum. So I’m going to bring the box that was shipped to me and open it there–in front of everyone. So you’ll all see them for the first time with me!

And here’s the official Facebook Events page–if you’re planning on coming, just click “Join”, so I’ll know how many to expect (but you can always drop by unannounced, too!)

For all my Canadian friends, Happy Canada Day! We’re watching the fireworks tonight from Mooney’s Bay. The girls decided there would likely be too much pot being smoked down on Parliament Hill, so we’ll avoid that. But it’s neat to be in the nation’s capital on July 1!

So pick one of the above and start following me more. I’d love to stay in contact with all of you more, and deliver you great information in easy ways–that make it easy to share. :)

My Washington Speaking Tour!

It is generally a good idea that, if you are about to speak for three nights straight, you DON’T fall UP stairs on a ferry and get a huge gash on the bridge of your nose which threatens to swell and bruise badly.

I’ll have to keep that in mind for next time, since obviously I did not heed this warning last week!

I’ve been visiting family in British Columbia for a few days before beginning my 3-night speaking tour in Washington state. And on the ferry over from Vancouver Island I bashed my nose open.

Here’s me in the hotel holding ice on it to make sure it didn’t swell up!


But my nose behaved and did not swell, and with some creative makeup you could barely see it last night! Here’s my daughter and me at my book table at the Life Center in Tacoma:

SheilaKatie Tacoma

I’ve had quite the week getting here. Aside from the nose gashing experience, I also had a big mishap with the shipping of my books. I had to get some across the border, and filling out government customs forms gives me hives. I just clam up at the thought that I’m going to do something wrong–and last time I filled out the forms I did. Where it said “Net Cost”, I calculated the average net cost of all the books and entered it there. Then I got a phone call from FedEx’s customs broker. Apparently under Net Cost, you’re supposed to write either “Yes” or “No”. Who knew?

Anyway, I shipped my books with a bit of a cushion so that if I messed up the paperwork again they’d have time to get a hold of me and still deliver the boxes to Tacoma. But then on Wednesday night, two days before they were supposed to be in Seattle, we got a call that they’d been at the border for a week stuck in customs because I put the wrong currency in one box. They hadn’t called me until now.

I was really upset, but I had it out with God and was truly at peace at losing out on the $600 in shipping, and knew the books wouldn’t make it now. But I prayed that God would work a miracle.

And sure enough, after getting passed back and forth to multiple people at FedEx, all of whom said it wasn’t their problem, I talked to a supervisor who went to bat for me, and they overnighted the boxes and they were waiting for us! So I’m trying to figure out a good gift to send the FedEx woman in the Toronto office who really helped me. A gift certificate for a restaurant? I don’t know. But it’s not often you find someone who will go out on a limb for you like that.

Anyway, I just needed the encouragement this week, and maybe God just wanted to show me He could still work miracles. My nose didn’t swell (despite profuse bleeding and a lot of pain), and the books got there, and the talk was so much fun! 500 women in Tacoma, lots of laughs, and a great Q&A period, too. My daughter even figured out how to set up my new backdrop:

GirlTalk Banner

Which is great, because she has to set it up two more times! I’m in Yakima tonight and Lake Forest Park tomorrow. And it’s going to be fun!

Right now I’m sitting in a McDonald’s (yay for free wifi!) before we head over to the church. Awesome drive through the mountains today. We stopped at a lookout and took some pictures; this doesn’t do it justice, but it was lovely:


So we’re all ready to go for two more nights!

As always, if you’d like me to come deliver my Girl Talk–straight talk on intimacy and marriage–at your church, just email my booking agent and he’ll get a package out to you.

And if you have any great ideas of what to send the FedEx woman who rescued me, let me know!

The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex

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Sex is supposed to be stupendous--physically, emotionally, AND spiritually. If it's not, get The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex--and find out what you've been missing.

More on Perimenopause, Where I’m Speaking, and Other Cool Stuff!

Yesterday was Thanksgiving in Canada. And I had something amazing to be thankful for–I got to hug my oldest daughter after six weeks of not seeing her! That’s the longest we’ve ever been apart. She went off to university last month, and I’ve been pining away for her, though I’m exceedingly proud. Picked her up  yesterday and I actually started crying. Wasn’t expecting that! But we’re together for the next week, so I’m really excited.

Pink Pad App

A bunch of you were asking after my post on Perimenopause yesterday what was the app that my daughter and her friends use to track their cycles? So when I saw her I asked her. It’s Pink Pad. You can take a look! And it tracks your mood and other symptoms, too, just so they don’t come as such a shock and you can be prepared.

I’m going to MOMCon–the MOPS Convention!

Now, back to my daughter: she’s coming with me to the MOPS Convention in Kansas City this week! On Thursday I’ll be giving my Girl Talk presentation–twice!–to a whole bunch of moms of preschoolers, and I’m so excited. If any of you readers are going to be there, please make a point of coming and saying hi. I know there will be about 3000 of you, but I’ll be hanging out at my booth with my books and my manager dude (and my daughter!) when I’m not speaking or doing media, and I’d love to take some pictures with some of my regular readers. So do stop by!
Girl Talk with Sheila Wray Gregoire

I’m firming up dates for the Spring and Fall

And one of the big things that I’ll be doing there is firming up dates of WHEN I’m coming to what part of the country. I know a whole bunch of you have asked for packets on Girl Talk to see if I can bring it to your church. It’s a great evening where I use a lot of humor–and practical advice–to talk to women about how sex is supposed to work in marriage. And it’s so much fun! If you haven’t received a package, and you asked for it, just email my manager again and nudge him. But now is the time to book, because I’m really doing a first come, first serve basis. I’m booking a 10 day tour in May and a 7 day tour in April, and then another 10 day one next October. So if you want me in your part of the country for one of those, just email me and pick a date now, and then I’ll work around you.

Another HUGE Bundle Sale is Coming–Don’t Miss It!

So many of you LOVED the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle Sale that ran last May–you got $700 worth of ebooks for $29. Well, there’s another one coming–in just one month! From November 4-November 9, you’ll get:

  • 80 + ebooks focusing on healthy living (including my 31 Days to Great Sex! But if you already have the book, you’ll still find this bundle an amazing deal)
  • Mentorship program/Coffee Table Conversations. This is such a cool feature, and it’s NEW to this bundle. Each week, for 12 weeks, you’ll get a 1-hour podcast from an author expert, and access to a private Facebook group to talk about it.
  • $150+ free bonuses like $26 of eco-friendly laundry detergent, $15 of natural soap and skincare, $15 of herbal remedies.

So you won’t want to miss it! Make sure you’re signed up for at least one of my newsletters to get notified by email–or just check in with the blog during that week!

This Bundle sale is now over, but the awesome people at the Ultimate Bundles website offer about 6 bundles a year on different topics--and it's always about $1000 worth of digital products for $29.97. Sign up to be notified of the next bundle! (They have homemaking, digital photography, healthy living, work at home business, and more!