Friday Roundup on To Love, Honor and VacuumIs discombobulated a word other people use? We say it all the time in my house–when you just feel like the world is a little upside down and you can’t quite get your feet under you.

Anyway, my head is in a million different places, and I thought I’d share some of my angst today so that you can all commiserate.

And since it’s Friday, when I usually do my Round-Up of what’s number 1 here on the blog and a peek inside my personal life, it seemed like a good time to spill!

But first, here are the biggest posts you won’t want to miss:

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

Every week I share what’s been hot on the blog and on social media, but I thought I’d add two new categories: #1 on Instagram and #1 on the blog that was written THIS week. (The Instagram thing I’ll put lower down). So we’ll have two categories: what was the biggest post on the blog, and what was the biggest that’s actually new. That way you all can make sure you didn’t miss a good one, but you’ll also rediscover some older postsΒ  you may not have seen before!

Top 10 Pat Answer Christian Marriage Advice that Doesn't WorkFamily Vacations and Marriage: Is romance hard on vacation?#1 New Post on the Blog: Top 10 Christian Pat Answers About Marriage
#1 on the Blog: Top 10 Tips for Initiating Sex
#1 on Facebook: Sex and Family Vacations
#1 on Pinterest: When You Don’t Want to Make Love


Why I’m Discombobulated

I’m Seriously Behind

Nine Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage: Because a Great Relationship Doesnt Happen by AccidentI love my upcoming book, 9 Thoughts That Will Change Your Marriage. I poured so much of THIS blog into the book–posts and debates I’ve had with people, emails that have been sent, comments and questions. It’s really my thinking about marriage as its progressed over the years of interacting with you all and seeing just how messy so much of life is.

But then my publisher set a release date of August 18–a month after my daughter’s wedding and three weeks after my other daughter’s birthday.

And I just feel like I’m so behind! I’m supposed to plan a blog tour, and I haven’t done it yet. So if you’re a blogger and you’d like a copy of the book, leave a comment and I’ll get it to you, okay?

By the way–I don’t think August 18 is a BAD date or anything. It’s actually perfect, because it’s in time for women’s groups to pick it up to use as their Bible study this fall. And seriously, it would make for GREAT discussion!

I’m Not Sure I’m Doing The Book Justice

But I’m not sure if I’ve been representing the book well this week in my posts (on why pat answers don’t work; 10 pat answers we hear about marriage; how thoughts can change a marriage; how the Bible has more than just 5 passages that pertain to marriage). I think I’ve been emphasizing the controversial parts too much, like the parts that have to do with what to do if you’re in a rough marriage.

Really the book is about 1/3 how YOU can change, 1/3 how to handle conflict and confront sin if necessary, and 1/3 how to handle staying close, with sex and doing stuff together. So it’s not all submission submission submission. But that’s what people often lash on to. Honestly, it’s a fun book, and I openΒ  up a lot about my own marriage lately–even more than I’ve done on this blog.

I’m just not sure if what I’ve shared this week really does it justice. Sigh.
Sheila and Christopher

Yesterday Would Have Been My Son’s 19th Birthday

I shared that on Facebook; didn’t share it here. I just didn’t know what else to say, because I’ve written about it before. Here’s the first article I ever had published, shortly after he died, called “The Least of These“.

I kept busy yesterday. Made chicken stock, made a pot roast, reorganized my freezer, inventoried my teas, and all kinds of things. Didn’t get a lot done for the book, but was active all day. I think it was for the best.

I’m a Little Ticked at Young Christian Men

And then on a personal level, I’m just a little bit ticked at young Christian men, and discouraged for mature Christian girls of my daughters’ ages (which is not to say that all Christian girls are mature; just that I know quite a few who really are.)

Here’s the thing: I know a lot of 18-23 year old women who are honestly ready for a serious relationship and to start looking for their life partner. But I know few men in that category.

My youngest daughter was visiting some friends last week and ended up talking to a 21-year-old girl at length about her experience with men at a Christian university this year. This lovely woman, who is very attractive, has been strung along by about 3 guys over the course of the year. You know–“wined and dined”, so to speak, and fussed over, and brought popcorn for movie nights, and chatted til 2 in the morning, thinking that perhaps this was going somewhere, only to find out weeks later that he’s been doing this with other girls at the same time. Or, in another case, that he already had a girlfriend.

These are good Christian guys in every other way. But they seem to see nothing wrong with playing with girls’ emotions. And when challenged, they say, “Oh, I’m not ready for any relationship yet.”

I’ve seen too much of this lately in my social circle, and it’s making me despair a bit for Christian women who are trying to do the right thing. Sigh.

Here’s How You Can Win with 9 Thoughts That Will Change Your Marriage

I’ve been telling people that if they pre-order the book before August 18, or buy it on August 18, they’re going to get some goodies!

So you may be wondering, how does that work exactly?

Well, on this blog on August 18 I’ll be giving you an email address to forward your receipt for the book. When I get that, I’ll send you back download links to a bunch of marriage and parenting related ebooks and charts and more that can help you in your journey, gathered from some of my blogging buddies. So everyone will get that!

Then, everyone who sends me a receipt will also be entered in a contest to win five different prizes, including some biggies! I haven’t fully decided on them all yet, but I’m thinking one of them will be winning ME to come to speak at your church with my Girl Talk–and I’ll waive the fee! There will also be book bundles and Amazon gift cards galore.

To be sure you don’t miss out, sign up for my marriage newsletter. That way even if you don’t get to the blog that day, you’ll get a link to enter the contest!

And, as always,

Button Order the Book

Have a College Freshman in Your Family?

I do! My daughter’s heading off to college (we say university here in Canada; college means something else) in just a few weeks.

And my older daughter (who is going into her senior year) has been writing a great 10-day series on her blog called “The Freshman’s Guide to College“. She’s got posts on back to school shopping, saving money on college textbooks, making friends in college, and more! She’s on Day 5 of a 10-Day Series, so check it out, and send it to some nervous freshmen you know!

Neat Stuff I’ve Found on the Web This Week

A great blogging buddy of mine, J from Hot, Holy and Humorous, has been answering some hard questions on her blog. She tackled BDSM this week (yes, she really went THERE), and I thought it was great.

My author friend Shaunti Feldhahn (I’m a big fan of her research!) has a new book out on how men are visual. But she often gets pushback from women: “Hey! I’m tempted by a hot guy, too!” In this article she explains why the temptations we experience are actually quite different. Read it and then tell me what you think.

A long-time reader and blogging buddy Ngina Otiende shared an older post of hers on 10 Things To Know Before Your Wedding Night. Loved it!

Ngina recently led a marriage conference for marriage leaders in Kenya, and I told her that I SOOOOO want to go with her next time. My heart is to encourage marriage leaders in Africa, and I know I have so many South African, Kenyan, and Nigerian readers here (waving at you and saying hello right now!). I would love to take that ministry beyond this blog and head to Africa sometime, with someone like Ngina who has connections and is part of that culture. So we’ll see!

I’m Going Hiking Tomorrow!

My husband and I have been talking about how we need to find new ways to spend time together what with both girls being gone soon. So we’ve decided to take up hiking! We’re heading out tomorrow, and I hope to post on it next week and share some pics. (It actually fits in well with Thought #9 in my book: You Can’t Drift Together. You Can Only Drift Apart. So Don’t Drift!)

You cannot drift together; you only drift apart

What can you do this weekend to stop the drift?

What’s #1 on Instagram

Okay, this post actually wasn’t #1, because I already shared my #1 post yesterday. But this was next!

Mailing out a copy of my new book 9 Thoughts That Can Change a Marriage to my first winner! It hits stores August 18!

A photo posted by Sheila Gregoire (@sheilagregoire) on

That’s everything I’ve been thinking about and doing this week! What about you? What’s been on your mind? What do you think about “fighting the drift”? Or about the state of dating for young Christian adults? Or about how men and women are visually tempted? Let’s just chat today. I need something to distract me. πŸ™‚

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