Is it more difficult to manage sexual purity before marriage or healthy sexuality afterward?

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Your sexuality is a treasure entrusted to you by God. How you manage it lies in your hands.

If you’re single, your sexuality might be on your mind… a lot. The attraction, the excitement, the longing… the decisions on how to handle it. It’s a BIG deal! Everyday!

If you’re married, how often is your sexuality on your mind? Are you finding mutually desirable ways to meet your needs? Are you staying in touch with what makes you come alive? Are you choosing to create the time to transition to intimacy?

~You are the only one entrusted with your sexuality.~

Does the health of your sexuality right NOW reflect how well you treasure it?

Single Ladies

As a single lady, do you let the guy make all the decisions about how you treat your sexual identity? NO! You decide:

~How you will honor your values

~How you will respect God’s blessings for you

~How you will let integrity have a louder presence than feelings

Married Ladies

So married ladies, what are the decisions you make regarding your sexual identity? Does it all revolve around your husband?

Don’t go crazy on me! I’m not saying involve other men besides your husband. Whew! Nope, that’s not where I’m going. My point is…

if men don’t define you before marriage, why would they define you after marriage?

Is this an intriguing topic to you? Hear ALL about the “Whys” and “Why Not-s”. Walk away with some fresh tips. 

Tuesday, Sept 5th at 6:30 EDT.

Join us for the LIVE event.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/GodlyGirlTalk/

~Married ladies, you are the one making the decisions regarding your sexual identity.~

 

Christian Women Face Additional Obstacles to Sexual Intimacy

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If God says sex in marriage, between a husband and wife, is good, then why aren’t we celebrating it? Yes, sexual intimacy has been perverted by the world, so we know to abstain from some of those practices. But even sadder than that, it’s been shamed by the church, the very institution that could best represent God’s view.  No wonder Christian women, in church circles, find themselves struggling with even more obstacles because we as the church aren’t embracing God’s design.

 

What obstacles do women face?

 

1.       “How do I say, “Yes”, after saying “No” for so long?”

Thankfully, we are raising some kids who are keeping their purity until marriage. That is truly a blessing and helpful in so many ways. But, we don’t always prepare them with a healthy mindset about Godly sexuality. They get the ’No! No! No!’ message, and not the ‘Save Your Gift for Your Spouse to Express in a Free and Honoring Way!’ message. 

So, they reach their wedding night and don’t know how to transition to a new way of managing their sexuality. Awkwardness aside, who are they going to tell about their dilemma? They feel embarrassed with thoughts like, “I’m supposed to know what to do. This is supposed to be okay, but it doesn’t feel that way. Is something wrong with me?” And they don’t open up. Instead, they create a very unhealthy pattern of sexual activity without vulnerability, emotional intimacy, and transparency with their spouse. It’s the start of something very damaging.

2.       “Can a Christian woman be ‘Hot’ and Holy?”

Women typically connect everything in their life together. They’re more intuitive, so knowing about the kids’ school projects, the church fellowship dinner, and their husband’s big problem at work get intermingled, all the time. But when it comes to combining their Christian walk and their sexual being… not so much.

They keep these ideas very separate. Yes, they can embrace their love for God with as much commitment and passion as possible. But honoring their sexuality (in beautiful, Godly ways within marriage) still feels very OFF LIMITS, like they’re not supposed to even think about sex… and they’re married!!  

They almost have to disassociate with who they are at their core to even participate in sexual intimacy with their husband. It breaks down their identity as a woman and wife. They don’t know that they can be free to express themselves with the Father’s blessing.  And, again, who are they going to tell? This is the very reason they are having the problem!! There’s no safe space to have this talk. A healthy, whole view of mutual respect and pleasure (in marital intimacy) seems to be missing.

3.       “But, doesn’t the scripture say… ‘your body is not your own’?”

Scripture is often twisted. Whether intentionally communicated with a slant, for selfish motives or authoritarian control, or unintentionally perceived through a negative filter. Certain passages are highlighted that limit one’s freedom of thought and expression. This is sad for any topic it affects, but particularly harmful when it comes to the marriage bed. There are wives who feel like they have no say in their marital relations. Even though many scriptures highlight mutual respect and submission, those are not the passages they’re hearing the loudest.

These wives sense that if they displease their husband in this manner that they are displeasing God. So they are earning their place of acceptance in God by performing sexually for their husband.  It’s as if their value and Christian identity hinge on measuring up to a certain sexual standard.  If this pattern continues women feel if they choose to stand up for themselves and honor their bodies that means they have chosen to ‘leave God’. Why should they ever feel they have to choose between self-protection and being obedient to God? That is never how the Father wants healthy sexuality to be viewed.

4.      “Everybody watches porn, right?”

Pornography is wrong in every possible way. We know that it’s not a real representation of love-making. The people are actors and often there through sexual exploitation. We know repeated pornography usage reduces one's ability to interact easily with their spouse. It also breaks down neurological connections that can cause misfiring and permanent damage.  These facts are known in the secular understanding as dangers of pornography.

For a Christian wife (and/or husband) there are additional pitfalls. The Christian couple stood before God on their wedding day and made commitments to shared values. These values established heart choices towards each other and God. When a spouse chooses pornography as a lifestyle they betray their partner. Some consider this to be on par with adultery. This pornographic habit is also a choice to participate in a vulgar sin unto God. They bring that sin to their marriage bed. They have sinned against their own body and their spouse’s body as well. Shame sets in even if the activity is hidden. It not only destroys the individual but also their partner and family.     

5.       “I asked the church for help and now I feel worse.”

In the world, there are support groups for everything imaginable. Although the advice given isn’t always Godly or healthy, there are still open ears and kind hearts to listen and embrace. In the church, there has been some success for groups like Celebrate Recovery and a few others, but in general, there is limited support for women who want guidance for healing in regards to sexual intimacy issues.

So when she gathers her courage and seeks help through the church, but is pushed away or made to feel 'bad' about herself, she is crushed. It may cause her to shut down permanently and never get the help she needs. It’s as if her issues are doubled. The original pain has now been compiled with rejection. It’s so much hurt that she may choose to never become that vulnerable and trusting again. Once more, the very institution that could best communicate God’s message of hope has been a vehicle for darkness.

Now to their defense, I realize that we all have previous experiences and filters that shape our view. These church leaders are only operating out of their own understanding. They don’t know what they don’t know. It’s not a malicious oversight, but still, one for which they are responsible.     

 My prayer is for more truth to be available for the church at large so that more opportunities exist for freedom.

 

 What can we do about It?

Let’s grow a church culture that partners with God’s view on healthy sexuality and celebrates His goodness. Let’s identify and encourage female leaders with a propensity to minister grace and truth in this delicate topic. Let’s create a safe space for talks about intimacy.

For more information on services I offer to church and ministry leaders, and for individual women check out:

http://marywhitmanortiz.com/church 

   

No One Knows

“No one can know.”

That seems to be her cry, almost as much as her need to make the hurt,” GO Away!”

She’s afraid, alone and ashamed… and in the church.

For years she’s tried to do the ‘right’ thing, to be the Christian wife she’s ‘supposed’ to be. But it’s not making a difference in her marriage.

She reads passages like Eph 4:1-3 about ‘making allowances because you love one another’ and feels like…

---I have to put my husband first, regardless

---Whatever he wants of me has to be okay

---If I truly love him I have to let him be himself, even if…

It’s just all twisted up in her mind and heart, and if she admits it, in her body, too.

“HER body”. How long has it been since she felt like her body was her own? Seriously! It’s only for him, right?!

Everything about her physical, sexual, intimate life has been so distorted she just can’t see the Truth anymore. But she also can’t keep living this way.

Her husband’s expectations sexually have robbed her of her dignity.

They don’t have a lovingly mutual expression of bonding in their intimacy. What they do have is warped and cheap and degrading. And yet… they’re both Christians.

She simply CANNOT tell another soul.  

No one in the church… No one in her family… No one in her circle of friends…

How she feels about herself, how she feels about who she is in her sexual relationship with her husband… how can she possibly put it into words? Say it out loud? Admit to what has been happening?

That’s why her need for PRIVACY is of the utmost importance.

Words like security, safety, and CONFIDENTIALITY are imperative for her to seek some help.

And nothing in her correspondence can reflect the topic she needs to talk about. The process must be so secretive that it becomes an actual sanctuary for her; a sacred space to meet the heavenly Father’s loving presence and begin her healing. She can finally tell her story. She can start to breathe again.   

This is what happens for my clients.

Their concerns over their sexual intimacy (in their marriage) have plagued them for years. They’ve been super guarded with their issues because… where do you go so you’re NOT judged, but you also get help?

They come to me in a very private on-line space, in an All Day Session at a beachside location, or locally at my boutique office. Not only is the space safe, my attention for God’s healing of your heart is the safest place you can be.

And… I know your story, because… I lived it, too.

There is a future for you. It starts with HOPE. Let’s chat and see how working together can bring you answers and the freedom-to-be-you! Set up your call today. This is your time.

Your very confidential help begins NOW!

https://calendly.com/mary-19/healing-relationship-hurts/   

The Best Way to Rebuild Your Identity

You look in the mirror and try to block out the crushing words you just heard, from your loved one. But the same ole thoughts rise up anyway, “I can’t believe they just said that… again! What’s wrong with them? Don’t they know that hurts my feelings?” But in conjunction with that, however, a deeper, less conscious message is replaying. “I guess I deserve that. What’s wrong with me? I’m such a failure.”

 

This cycle of negative messages received and then internalized, limits how you see yourself and how you enjoy life. You may only have brief moments of happiness and feeling free to be yourself. The rest of the time you’re squashed under the weight of someone else’s expectations. And you never seem to be… ENOUGH.

 

What if there was a way to release all of those harmful and degrading messages? What if you could see yourself differently and get back to the dreams you once held for your life?

 

It’s possible.

 

Acknowledging your feelings and facing your fears by yourself is overwhelming at the least, and even if you do allow those honest moments to happen… then what? It can be draining and more frustrating if there’s no idea how to get past it.

 

But if it’s done with a professional coach, who can guide you to a place of strength and restoration, you are NOT alone or without a PLAN.

 

To release the lies and replace them with God’s truth about who you really are is transforming and completely empowering. It realigns your heart and identity. Out of the ashes, your restored being (spirit, soul, and body) rises to embrace the gifts in your life that you previously may not have had the energy or motivation to pursue. You have what it takes to finally love freely, give freely, and enjoy true connection.   

 

Self-Value Transformation Empowerment Day

 

This all happens during an ALL day coaching session- “Self-Value Transformation Empowerment Day”.  It’s held at a relaxing, beachside setting in Jacksonville Beach, FL or virtually, at your convenience, via SKYPE. And, there is a pre-call to set up the day, plus 3 follow-up calls and 3 months of unlimited email access to support you as you apply your new understanding and self-value mindset.

 

Also, for clients who are interested, Inner Healing Prayer Ministry can be incorporated into your program, to invite Jesus into your healing process.

 

There’s even more to consider, so please go to http://www.marywhitmanortiz.com/self-value for all the details. Let’s book your day and bring transformation, healing and freedom to your heart and relationships.      

What Happens When We Know What We Want, What We Really, Really Want? (Part 4)

Knowing how to ask for what you want can be separated into 4 categories: People, Place, Time, Words

People

Ask yourself, “What people have I invited into my inner circle because they have shown me (by their behavior) that I am valued and safe?” If you TRUST them (you feel respected and believe in their integrity), then you can consider if they are someone with whom you want to build a deeper relationship. Sharing ‘what you want’ with them has the potential to grow your relationship.

 

Place

Once you’ve determined who you want to share with, you can consider an ideal location. This needs to be free from extra distractions (like kids in-and-out and sports on the TV) and full of options for comfort that would put you both at ease (like refreshments and pleasant seating). It can happen most anywhere, on which you both agree.

 

Time

The time focuses on when and how long you share. Picking a mutually agreeable time (usually not first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening) and committing to a limited amount of time (maybe 30 minutes max) will make the process easier. As you build on these kinds of experiences you can say more in less time and almost spontaneously go to a deeper level of communication.

 

Words

“I” statements are the least threatening way to reflect on your concerns. This relieves the other person of feeling judged or blamed. If you have an idea about a common issue, you could use phrases like, “I’m puzzled when you ________” or “I have a concern about _____and a request to change it to____”. Concentrate on your perspective, because the goal is to bring understanding.

 

Assertiveness will grow with you as you put it into practice more and more. As long as the goal is bringing your whole self to the situation (and not being bossy or sassy) then it’s actually very respectful and freeing for the both of you.

 

If this still seems to be a bit much to manage because of a backlog of negative messages that affect your self-esteem and confidence, I have another service to offer.

 

Build Your Self-Esteem

 

“Self-Value Transformation Empowerment Day” is a one-to-one ALL day coaching session. There is time to identify your feelings and fears, release the lies that have limited you and replace them with God’s truth about your identity. This is led in a relaxing, beachside setting at Jacksonville Beach, FL or virtually, at your convenience, through SKYPE.

For all the details go to: http://www.marywhitmanortiz.com/self-value

 

Let’s book your day and bring transformation, healing and freedom to your heart and relationships.      

Why don't We KNow What We Want, What We Really, Really Want (Part 3)

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This could be your ‘come to Jesus day’, because our first step involves knowing WHY you VALUE yourself. I believe we are made in God’s image, that HE loves us immensely (enough to send His son in our place to open the door to amazing fellowship with Him), and HE wants only good for us. But if that’s not your point-of-view, then fill in the blanks for how and why you value yourself. Are you ready?

 

1.       Value Yourself

        Choose to accept God’s love, to believe that HE accepts you JUST as you are, and HE has a plan for your future filled with His love and goodness. To really learn more join me for “Beauty in the Mirror: How to Value Yourself and Create Healthy Emotional Connections” http:www.marywhitmanortiz.com/self-worth

 

2. Hear Your Heart

Let the world stop long enough so you can release those hurts, confusions, and frustrations. Recognize what you’re FEELING, not ‘thinking’. Download a list of feelings (or contact me for a through inventory of feeling words (hello@marywhitmanoritz.com).

Don’t worry, it’s not just you. As a society we’ve gotten away from this process. We all walk around numbing, stuffing and ignoring our feelings. But it hurts us physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

You can change all of that NOW!

 

3.       Recognize Your Needs and Wants

Maybe you’re lonely because there’s a holiday coming up and you don’t have anyone to be with.  You need friendship or a listening ear. Maybe you’re sad because you’ve gotten some bad health news and you need comfort or companionship. Maybe you’re scared because work tensions are growing and you may have to leave. You NEED close friends and family you can trust with your concerns and heart issues.

 

That brings us to the final part in this series. “How to Ask for What I Need” will open your eyes to big picture topics like boundaries, and to relationship skills like knowing the love language you and your close friend have. 

Consider learning more about your relationships by taking a Prepare and Enrich on-line assessment with detailed feedback from me as your facilitator.

      bit.ly/2oMMKPO

 

Does this seem like work? It could be. But is it worth it? Are YOU worth it? YES! YES! YES!

Why Don’t We Know What We Want, What We Really, Really Want? (Part 2)

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Yes, your body tells you if you’re hungry, cold or sleepy. It might register fear, anger or even happiness, but that all happens by default, by our divine design. To open the door to understanding more requires intentionality. That is where we hit a bump in the road. 

 

We don’t know what we really, really want because…

 

  • We’re too busy to pause and recognize our feelings.

 

  • We subconsciously think we don’t ‘deserve’ to have our wants and needs met.

 

  • We don’t know how to identify what’s going on at our core level.

 

I wish I knew the perfect way to motivate people to take this step. In Part I, we talked about the benefits of being assertive. Those rewards are waiting for us like a dangling carrot. Unfortunately, as human beings, we are usually motivated more by pain than pleasure. So, let’s look at the hurt you are causing by not taking this step, by NOT being assertive.

What does a lack of assertiveness bring to your life?

  • For every relationship that feels stagnant, uncomfortable or volatile, there is something you have NOT recognized. If you want that pain to stop, you have to face that it is happening.

 

  • For every business opportunity that still lingers beyond your reach, there is a missing mindset or skill set you need to acquire. Acknowledging this truth (without shame) will transform your course in life.

 

  • For every unfilled (or lost) desire you have to make a difference in the world, there is a hindrance to knowing your purpose and how you can contribute and serve. Owning this truth, though painful during the process, will open doors to finally sharing your gifts with the world and being FREE to be yourself.

When you decide that knowing what you really, really want will better your own life, plus the lives of those you care about most, you will take ACTION!

To learn the real-life steps to make it happen, look for Part III.  

You will also have an opportunity to receive a complimentary copy of “Awaken Your True Self-Worth”. This 3 Day DIY Mini-Course walks you through the process of creating a safe place to hear your heart.

Contact me at hello@marywhitmanoriz.com for more details.

Do You Know What You Want (What You Really, Really Want?)

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If you knew what you wanted… what you really, really wanted… how would that help you?

 

Is it all about getting your way? Is it to control other people and make your life easier, even happier? Is that the connotation we have sometimes when it comes to people freely expressing themselves and their requests?

 

Unfortunately, knowing what you want AND how to ask for it can be seen as a negative characteristic. But, when used in the best possible way, it’s a win-win-win. It actually produces self-confidence which makes everyone involved not only more comfortable but also more productive!

 

Let’s dive into that a bit more.

 

Being assertive means-

 

  •  I know what’s going on inside of me.

 

  • I’ve identified my feelings.

 

  • If I have a need, I can ask for it intentionally.

 

Just think about how much peace is created when we take responsibility for our needs (either by fulfilling them ourselves or with others). No more wondering what’s bothering you, how to get past a yucky feeling, or shutting down due to being overwhelmed.

 

And in personal relationships- how welcoming would it be to squelch the drama and just have meaningful conversations with reduced fear and a common goal of respecting and supporting one another?!!  Wow! Such a tremendous goal!

 

Knowing what you want… what you really, really want…  transforms your communication into something filled with PEACE, CLARITY, and RESPECT.

Stay tuned to find out ‘why we don’t usually choose assertiveness’, and the ‘step by step process to develop a healthy assertiveness lifestyle”.  And, a boundaries and love languages combo to bring it all together. Parts II, III and IV to follow.

When Pleasing Others Sells Your Soul

This is not the story I always dreamed of writing. But it is the story that needs to be told.

 

I found myself deeply buried in a cycle of being in the dog house because I wasn’t pleasing to my husband. It’s not that I spent too much money. It’s not that I was a nag. No, my ‘dog house’ sentence was because I didn’t want sex the same way he did.

 

I resisted sex. Not because I didn’t like it. My hormones were A-Ok. My female plumbing was in great condition. No, I resisted sex because I felt so belittled and used. There was no closeness, no warmth, and no sweet words. It was ALL about a physical act with a biological result. I was just a body; actually, I was his body. He told me that Scripture said I belonged to him.

My body was not my own, so I was obligated to fulfill his demands.   

 

During sex, I had to disassociate from being there.  I had to perform to be a pleasing, godly wife, but he didn’t want my heart.   How could I please him AND protect my heart at the same time? I couldn’t.

 

The day after didn’t provide a warmth or closeness, either.  Yes, there was the chemical release that made me feel drawn to that moment, but that was secondary. The primary focus was on the short-lived period of being free of his demands and able to think for me.

 

Unfortunately, when his sex tank was full I was then displaced, not pursued, and not needed.

And although the break was something I lived for, at the same time the dismissal was devastating. His absence interpersonally communicated rejection and abandonment. I wasn’t wanted. How could I be happy about being unwanted?

 

And so my perpetual doghouse lifestyle continued… damned if I did and damned if I didn’t.

 

Later it was revealed he had a clinically diagnosed addiction to porn. That explained a lot. His lack of intimacy was conditioned by the interaction he had with internet porn. Real people and real relationships require connection. Images on a screen do not.  

 

God walked me through much recovery and healing. I found a way of living that embraced my own heart, provided FREEDOM to be all God called me to be, and opened doors for the true love I had longed for, for decades.

 

My story goes from dark to light. Will yours?

 

I help women embrace God’s design for love, sex, and intimacy. This includes recovery from sexual trauma and dysfunction. If your story is at all like mine, let’s find a path to your wholeness together.   

 

There is a place of peace and confidence in God that says, “I am beautiful and chosen in Your eyes.” Through Inner Healing Prayer Ministry and other tools you can embrace your beautiful and strong heart.

3 Must Have Communication Tips Even When Connection Is Distant

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Every time I go to church I sense…  she’s here.

She’s crying out to God, feeling alone in the midst of the crowd, and wondering and fearing about what might happen.

Broken hearted, she hopes her husband will want to do something with her (for them), but she can’t even put into words what she wants.

 It gets all too emotional when she talks.

The pain is so great she can’t be objective

If she brings it up, the conversation turns into another cycle of confusion, rejection and more hurt.

 

Why doesn’t she know how to talk to him… anymore?

What would she even say if everything was just right to be heard?

How can she get herself ready to have the most important talk of her life?

 

If having a more meaningful relationship is your hope and dream here are some must have tips.

 

  1. Recognize that God is your source in every way. I love thinking of the comfort and refuge He provides in Psalms 91 as I pull up my own comforter and snuggle in bed.  “Ahhh…” I’m hiding under the shadow of His wing.

  2. Create a new pattern of listening to your thoughts… when you aren’t in stress. Identify your feelings and recognize what events trigger both pleasant and uncomfortable feelings. Be a student of yourself, so you can better share what’s going on inside.

  3. Prioritize the concerns you need to communicate. Consider the best setting (free of distractions, agreeable by both) and set the tone with beverages or snacks of choice. Be calm and frame your words with “I feel _____ when ____ happens and I’d rather feel _______.”

There are many other communication tips, but this is a great foundation.

When distance and damage in an emotional connection drains you in every area of your life, you will have to intentionally address the hurt and develop new ways to connect. Although it may feel awkward and unnatural at first, you can create loving ways to feel close… again.

Secrets to Unlock and Engage Your Intimacy

Greater Intimacy = Greater Sex   That may sound appealing, but how can you make it happen? Intimacy can feel like a vague goal that you never know if you are getting nearer to. And even if some days seem like there's more closeness between you and your man, is there a way to make it consistent? YES!!        Intimacy is Intentional!   Through conscious and realistic steps you can grow the bond in your marriage. By putting into practice daily, weekly, and monthly actions, you WILL produce a sweeter connection.   Learn the Secrets to Unlock and Engage Your Intimacy!   #1 Determine what you want  Men are not mind readers (women aren’t either), so your husband won’t automatically know what you want. Plus, if you have not pre-determined what the ‘love-making of your dreams’ looks like to you, then you won’t recognize it, appreciate it, or sustain it when it happens. Make sure that what you want is something realistic you will actually do.   * Create a time and space to check in with yourself and begin to define the intimacy you want.  * Identify and release your feelings over any frustration or hurt in your sex life (past and present).  * Allow yourself the freedom to hope for the future. Invite God into your journey.  Stay tuned to catch all 5 secrets. It's God's desire for you to know soul-satisfying happiness in your relationships. With a little courage and persistence, you'll be on your way to wedded bliss.              

Greater Intimacy = Greater Sex

That may sound appealing, but how can you make it happen? Intimacy can feel like a vague goal that you never know if you are getting nearer to. And even if some days seem like there's more closeness between you and your man, is there a way to make it consistent? YES!!   

Intimacy is Intentional!

Through conscious and realistic steps you can grow the bond in your marriage. By putting into practice daily, weekly, and monthly actions, you WILL produce a sweeter connection.

Learn the Secrets to Unlock and Engage Your Intimacy!

#1 Determine what you want

Men are not mind readers (women aren’t either), so your husband won’t automatically know what you want. Plus, if you have not pre-determined what the ‘love-making of your dreams’ looks like to you, then you won’t recognize it, appreciate it, or sustain it when it happens. Make sure that what you want is something realistic you will actually do. 

* Create a time and space to check in with yourself and begin to define the intimacy you want.

* Identify and release your feelings over any frustration or hurt in your sex life (past and present).

* Allow yourself the freedom to hope for the future. Invite God into your journey.

Stay tuned to catch all 5 secrets. It's God's desire for you to know soul-satisfying happiness in your relationships. With a little courage and persistence, you'll be on your way to wedded bliss.

 

 

 

 

When is a Secret NOT a Good Thing?

She wanted to get away from it all for a little while.    She needed some time to think when ‘he’ wasn’t on her case or in her face. But even when she left the busyness and noise behind, his words were still ringing loud and strong in her thoughts. His actions were still fresh in her memories. How could she make it stop?      It wasn’t always like this.    When they were first together she felt like a princess. He was so attentive. He brought her gifts. He couldn’t get enough of being with her. But gradually things began to shift. It’s like she didn’t have total ownership of her thoughts or feelings anymore. Everything had to be shared with him and run through his perspective.  And, if that wasn’t bad enough, it all got weirdly connected to sex, too.     Yes, she wanted to please him, but at the same time, it was everything she could do to be intimate with him. She felt exposed, too vulnerable, and if she really faced it… she felt violated. It was like he didn’t want to be with her. He didn’t want to know her. He didn’t want to bond, to be close, or to be one. He wanted her, for her body, for what he could take for his enjoyment.     It made her cry. Often.      She loved him, but felt used by him.    She wanted to be with him, to make love to him, but it didn’t feel special like love. It felt cold and wrong.  There was no personal connection. There was only a physical act with a physiological response. To participate she had to separate who she was in her heart, from who she was in that moment... kidnapped by his agenda.     There was nothing godly or healthy in this scene, and now she felt stuck. Trapped in a twisted cycle of fooling everyone on the outside with a smile, while on the inside not admitting what was really happening. What could she do? How could she ever get past this? Out of this? Free from this?      Sexual trauma and dysfunction are all too common.    We’re devastated when it happens and disappointed to know it’s alive and well, even in the bedrooms of community and church leaders, alike. The worst part is… the more upstanding your position is in the community, the more likely you are to keep it a secret.     Secrets are only good for Christmas and surprise birthday parties.     If you are miserable and feel compromised in your sex life and intimacy, don’t keep it a secret. Find a dear trusted friend, a female Christian leader you know and respect, or seek professional help. It doesn’t have to stay that way.      Stay tuned for Parts Two and Three on why this is happening and how you can bring the hope, change and freedom you want. Remember, you are not alone. Even if life seems scary at this moment there are more options for you to choose.  Your heavenly Father calls you His beautiful and chosen daughter. That is the vision for your future. You can “Be Known & Loved.”

She wanted to get away from it all for a little while.

She needed some time to think when ‘he’ wasn’t on her case or in her face. But even when she left the busyness and noise behind, his words were still ringing loud and strong in her thoughts. His actions were still fresh in her memories. How could she make it stop?

 

It wasn’t always like this.

When they were first together she felt like a princess. He was so attentive. He brought her gifts. He couldn’t get enough of being with her. But gradually things began to shift. It’s like she didn’t have total ownership of her thoughts or feelings anymore. Everything had to be shared with him and run through his perspective.  And, if that wasn’t bad enough, it all got weirdly connected to sex, too.

 

Yes, she wanted to please him, but at the same time, it was everything she could do to be intimate with him. She felt exposed, too vulnerable, and if she really faced it… she felt violated. It was like he didn’t want to be with her. He didn’t want to know her. He didn’t want to bond, to be close, or to be one. He wanted her, for her body, for what he could take for his enjoyment.

 

It made her cry. Often.

 

She loved him, but felt used by him.

She wanted to be with him, to make love to him, but it didn’t feel special like love. It felt cold and wrong.  There was no personal connection. There was only a physical act with a physiological response. To participate she had to separate who she was in her heart, from who she was in that moment... kidnapped by his agenda.

 

There was nothing godly or healthy in this scene, and now she felt stuck. Trapped in a twisted cycle of fooling everyone on the outside with a smile, while on the inside not admitting what was really happening. What could she do? How could she ever get past this? Out of this? Free from this?

 

Sexual trauma and dysfunction are all too common.

We’re devastated when it happens and disappointed to know it’s alive and well, even in the bedrooms of community and church leaders, alike. The worst part is… the more upstanding your position is in the community, the more likely you are to keep it a secret.

 

Secrets are only good for Christmas and surprise birthday parties.

 

If you are miserable and feel compromised in your sex life and intimacy, don’t keep it a secret. Find a dear trusted friend, a female Christian leader you know and respect, or seek professional help. It doesn’t have to stay that way. 

 

Stay tuned for Parts Two and Three on why this is happening and how you can bring the hope, change and freedom you want. Remember, you are not alone. Even if life seems scary at this moment there are more options for you to choose.  Your heavenly Father calls you His beautiful and chosen daughter. That is the vision for your future. You can “Be Known & Loved.”

I am NOT an Expert on Trauma, but...

I may not be a trauma expert, but I know we’ve all been impacted by Hurricane Matthew.

My weekend had an unusual twist. I was out-of-town on a previously scheduled trip. As a matter of fact, this weekend had been in the making for 30 years, as it was my husband’s college reunion.

So we scrambled around on Wednesday, like everyone else, to get extra water, tuna fish, peanut butter and batteries. I even have an empty bread aisle photo from Publix to document my errands.

But we were also packing to head north (think first cool spell) and for me, I was prepping to make a good first impression on his important friends.

Our flight, thankfully, was set for Thursday, before the worst of the weather reached our area, but it was a super strange to leave with such mixed emotions. I was torn to not stay with my home, so the excitement of our upcoming plans stayed just out-of-reach in my heart.

And then we waited, like everyone local, but we were out-of-state.

Being long distance meant we only caught bits and pieces of the news, and looked like ‘unsocial’ friends with faces buried in the limited feed on our phones. Arrgh! It was frustrating and sad and a bit scary at times.

I don’t do ‘pretend’ (hide things) well, so I had to be real.

I opened up to these new friends about my concerns and instantly bonded, connecting at a deeper level. That helped so much.

Finally we got the word that the worse had passed and we personally had been spared from most of the damage. That was a huge relief. My feelings were still tugged at by everyone else’s experiences, but after that I could give myself a little more to all the fun and reminiscing.

And then we arrived home last night.

My heart was in my gut as we drove away from the airport. What would I see? How would I handle the damage first hand? Seeing it via the TV or through friend’s Facebook posts was one thing, but now I was having my own experience with it.

It was like my beloved city, and especially my friend the beach, had been ‘violated’ while I was away. That may sound strange, but all of these other emotions got stirred up. I felt at a loss for not being here, and equally disturbed by the end of innocence of my safe haven.  

Though very grateful for my personal situation of minimal clean-up, I could sense some grief creeping into my feelings.

Life as we knew it had come to an end.   

That’s when I realized, whether your loss of property was big or small, there is another loss to consider. Our normal was gone. Our peace had been significantly disrupted. Our lives would never be the same.

So, if the raking, cleaning and sorting through damaged mess seems to really be getting to you, let me offer these words…

Give yourself some grace.

 

  • Although this extra care and work load requires new adjustments, inconveniences and stressful hassles, take some time for you.

 

  • It’s okay to feel sad (or whatever you are feeling). That’s ‘normal’ and healthy for you to acknowledge.

 

  • Look for opportunities to be with other people. This can include providing physical help or just being there. Giving to others keeps your perspective balanced and removes the heaviness of isolation.

 

  • Be aware that waves of sadness, frustration, and overwhelm could be around for a while. Once again, it’s uncomfortable and not something you may choose, but ignoring or suppressing it will not help.

 

  • Know that you are cared for and valued, and your heavenly Father is always available to provide you with peace and strength.

“I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” Psalm 16: 8   

As with all storms and trials, courage and character await you on the other side.

May the impact of Hurricane Matthew also bring you to a place of grace.

Jacksonville, we have another day.     

I have a Confession

Confession Time. I have CCD.

You may not have heard of it before. It’s Creative Compulsion Disorder.

The symptoms include having a notebook or recording device on my person at all times to CAPTURE the ideas that pop up in my head and won’t leave me alone until I put them in a SAFE place.

It also means when I go from one room to the next I’m super INSPIRED to start a new project.

Case in point:

I walk to the kitchen to get a glass of water. I want to add some lemon or peppermint oil to my glass.

 My oils are stored under my bathroom sink. When I pull out the container I see some other baskets with hair products that are DISLODGED. I know there’s a better way to store them, so I start to REARRANGE them immediately. But, why stop there?

There are several bottles way too low and should be PITCHED. My bathroom waste basket needs to be emptied before I start filling it up with new trash. I think I’ll take it straight to the can outside.

Beside me always is my Miniature Schnauzer, Niki. He wants to go outside as well.

On the way back from DUMPING my wastebasket in the large can near the garage, I notice my landscaping. There are a few strands of monkey grass that have yellowed. I reach down to POP them out at the root.

Looking up to see where Niki has WANDERED to, I notice some twigs that have fallen in the yard as well. I SCOOP them up as I call him to go inside.

Back in the house I realize I’m THIRSTY. I go to the kitchen for a drink and remember I’d already poured myself a glass.   I look at the time and realize I have an appointment coming up SOONER than I thought.

I quickly sort the bathroom items, maybe not as ROBUSTLY as I originally planned, and tidy up the bathroom.

Then I put some peppermint in my glass. By this time, my mind has deliciously WANDERED as I’ve loosely MEDITATED on a Proverb I read earlier to ‘guard your heart’.

I JUMP up to write about something very deep.

As a child I never knew I was RESPONSIBLE for my heart, my whole person. My heart was not my own, in that others in my family DOMINATED the atmosphere with their emotions and I always felt PREY to their whims.

Only in the last 7 years have I begun to see and UNDERSTAND how that affected me.

By now I’m caught up in deep awe and APPRECIATION of being rescued from that system and mindset.

 I marvel at God’s goodness. I’m so thrilled for the FREEDOM I know. I want to share this. It moves me in a POWERFUL way.

 I return to my computer to expound from this soft place of REFLECTION and contemplation. All is well with my soul. I feel His PLEASURE as I write, creating a path for others to know freedom.

***My second confession is I thought I created this ‘disorder’.***

But I googled it after I wrote the above scenario. It turns out others have used it. I read their stories and was INSPIRED again to celebrate the Father’s design on my life, which led to more writing. And, now I need more water.

Time for the truth.

My Masters degree is in Gifted Education. I went back to school later in life when I had to re-establish my IDENTITY. I learned about myself, life and how to TRUST God at new places, out of desperation and dependence.

It was a GODSEND how I even ended up in Tuscaloosa, at The University of Alabama, was able to pass the MAT, and survive a TORNADO in only two months. But that’s another story.    

My point:

Celebrate YOU! Your uniqueness is a GIFT to you and the world. We need you to be you.

---And if you get thirsty… bring a notebook.  

So, What do you do?

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“So, what is it you do?”

I get asked this fairly often and I take it as a great compliment. I have a BIG heart for seeing women FREE, fulfilled, and loving themselves, as God does.

At the core of every relationship status- married and struggling, divorced and starting over, single and wondering, committed, yet wanting more- the key foundation is: are you KNOWN and LOVED?

We crave emotional connection.

Our very DNA was divinely wired for being loved.

If we sense that someone has invested their time, intention and care into our lives… we can do ANYTHING. That SUPPORT, personal VULNERABILITY, and COMMITMENT communicates:

 

---I matter.

 

---My thoughts, feelings and needs count.

 

---My life is valuable.

 

But, being KNOWN and LOVED by others, only happens when you first know and love… YOU!

***That’s what I do.***

 

I help women joyfully navigate the intricacies of being KNOWN and LOVED, so you can create relationships full of meaning and closeness.

My Relationship Coaching is open to ALL women, wherever they are in in their relationship status, who want:

  1. Freedom to accept, LOVE, and be themselves

  2. Super practical insight to COMMUNICATE clearly, even in conflict

  3. Healthy boundaries to HEAR, honor, and protect your heart

Through my Intrapersonal Realignment process you RELEASE the lies that limited you and REPLACE them with the truth of how your heavenly Father sees you.

Personal transformation is yours today, when you Know and Love yourself.

3 Signs Your Relationship is Stagnant or Worse

We were created for RELATIONSHIP.

It’s in our DNA to be known and loved, by God’s design for us.

Relationship affects EVERY area of your life, from a casual EXCHANGE at the grocery check-out, to important CONVERSATIONS with your children’s teachers, and ultimately, with intimate CONNECTIONS that are based on vulnerability and trust.

Sometimes relationships feel like something is just ‘off’ or there is a missing piece. Other times there is deep and almost debilitating HURT. The wounds are so powerful they shut you down and CHANGE the course of your life…forever.

Do you want to get it together before a potential PROBLEM begins or increases?

What areas of pain are in your life right now?

  1. Emotional DISTANCE, lack of connection, or awkward and uncomfortable settings where you don’t click, and may even be prompted to pull away.

  2. Unpleasant COMMUNICATION filled with surface or social talk (only), negative words and belittling tones, or a downward spiral of accusations and intentionally harmful arguments.

  3.  Substitutes for relational INTERACTION from ‘good busyness’, to choosing distractions because you’re in denial, or finally succumbing to addictive behaviors that attempt to fill a void.   

These scenarios can play out in a million ways, but what’s at the core? How do we SOLVE THE PROBLEM?

Let’s start where we have the most power. Who are YOU?  

  1. Do you acknowledge and VALIDATE your own thoughts, feelings and needs?

  2. Do you know how to EXPRESS your innermost ideas? When? To Whom?

  3. Do you have an UNDERSTANDING of your identity, purpose and plan?

***You are ½ of every relationship.***

When you are clearer, stronger and freer, in yourself, you will bring a more POWERFUL person to the table.  Your side, fully empowered, will affect every motivation, choice and interaction.

You, KNOWING AND LOVING yourself, because your heavenly Father first knew and loved you, will bring wholeness, peace and honor to your relationship.

Just how different and amazing is that?!

If you need to work through emotional DISTANCE, unhealthy COMMUNICATION, or relational SUBSTITUES… let’s start with YOU.

I love partnering with women on their journey to IDENTITY, FREEDOM, AND DESTINY. If this speaks to your heart, take action today.

---You are worth your love, time and attention.

 

---Your relationships are ready for FREEDOM and WHOLENESS.

 

---The world awaits your gifts, as you step into your God-given DESIRES and DREAMS.

 

Together, we can create a path to the Beautiful and Chosen YOU.

To learn more, contact me today for a FREE 30 minute Discovery Call.

hello@marywhitmanortiz.com

*** Let’s find and celebrate the TRUE YOU!***

3 Ways to STOP Your Entrepreneurial Spirit from Being an Obstacle in Your Marriage

What do you do if the one person you LOVE MOST in the world doesn’t ‘get’ or support your work?

They say, ‘opposites attract’, but let’s be honest, the opposing friction we like best is the result of GOOD chemistry.

So how do you deal with differing views on what’s super important to you: like your BIZ?

 

1. Validate yourself.

Acknowledge your own effort and DARING SPIRIT, your amazing commitment, your desire to SERVE and bring significant change and help to your sphere of influence. It’s a GOOD thing. It counts.

Your resilience is powerful. You’re getting sharper, clearer, and more effective every day. Yay you! for being both a DREAMER and a DOER. You are a rare breed.

Yay God! for making you exactly like you are, the only person who can bring your specific gifts to the world. Your PASSION for life is real. It matters!

 

2. Get Support.

There is NO need to do life alone, in any situation, especially one that is so tough. Find like-minded WOMEN who can walk the path with you.

Have one ahead of you to LEAD and assist. Have one behind you to extend your INSIGHT. Have ones on your right and left on which to lean, celebrate, and be ACCOUNTABLE and vulnerable.

Remember to pick them wisely. We’re not casting our pearls before swine here. Get a gauge for RESPECTFUL support and shared goals.

 

3. Communicate wisely.

Let’s dive into this a bit. He’s your man, not your enemy. Your DESIRE is to stay close and connected. Even through sharing differences, you can still be holding ‘US’ as your biggest priority.

And one more mind blowing idea for you- the goal is NOT 100% agreement. The goal IS 100% understanding.

You are two, separate individuals. Having different strengths makes you stronger TOGETHER.

Consider these points:

  • If it’s important to me, that’s enough.

  • His differences do NOT negate my values.

  • Boundaries in marriage are very healthy and actually create MORE closeness.

This is just a starting place.

If you want to know more how to communicate using: assertiveness, emotional word pictures, relational focus, and low-pressure strategies, let’s chat.

God is for you, your gifts, and your MARRIAGE. There is a way to make it happen.         

5 Reasons Communication Blows Up in Your Face

Selfies, it seems, are the universal language, regardless of age or location.

This became very real to me on my latest mission trip to Jamaica. Here I am with Ojay. He really wanted to take charge of my cell phone. I met him last year and have been corresponding with his mother all year long, sending gift packages several times.

But even so, there are barriers to our communication, mostly because of culture. But what about communication issues even in a shared culture? This made me ponder...

What causes communication to blow up?

  1. Wrong timing

  2. Selfish motivation

  3. Unclear expectations

  4. Overlooked feelings

  5. Unresolved offense

Let’s think about this.

---Can you wait to speak your mind until a mutually desirable time?

 

---Do you want the best for all involved or just for yourself?

 

---What’s your goal for making your point?

 

---Are you calm enough to have this talk?

 

---Is a previous issue interfering with your current concern?

The old adage of Think before SPEAK is simple yet powerful.

What barrier arises most in your communication blow-ups?

3 Reasons You Feel Empty in Your Relationships

What Brings Emptiness to Your Relationships?

Your life is at such a FAST pace and so full of BUSYNESS you don’t have time to CHECK-IN with you, much less your significant other.

You have created WALLS around issues that you couldn’t resolve and now it’s easier living with DISTANCE instead of working for connection.

Your dreams for oneness and BELONGING were dashed so long ago that you gave up HOPE and now you’re just going through the motions.

***Though this is a SAD and SCARY, let’s not STOP.***

It’s really because some fears in your life haven’t been recognized, released or replaced… yet. But it can be done.

Want to take step #1?

—Find a quiet place.

—Tell yourself it’s okay to ‘feel’ for just a few minutes.

—Relax and let some of the craziness, hurt or confusion surface.

–Capture those thoughts in a journal or your own specific way.

—Breathe in. Again. Even deeper. And let some of mess just flow out of you.

***There’s more we can do, but that’s a START.***

Your heart, your dreams and your life is truly WORTH the time and effort it takes to feel love. LOVE on you a bit today.

Do You Think It’s a Myth?

What if it was more than a MYTH, ladies?

That feeling of complete acceptance, deep connection, and the THRILL of being KNOWN and LOVED… well, I’m here to tell you, it really does EXIST.

It only took me 27 “FIRST DATES” (haha), but I finally found MR. RIGHT.

HOW’D IT HAPPEN?

As a divorced Christian woman considering remarriage, dating was not only scary, I was just clueless. It had been a very LONG time.

My questions were, “How do you flirt? How do you have good boundaries?” Frankly, I didn’t know a boundary until I felt that ickiness after it’d been crossed.

And, “How do you pick the RIGHT guy?” I was like a puppy just responding to a kind pat on the head, having NO idea if I was going to be scooped up for resale or taken to my forever home. I had a lot to learn! But I did it!

Now I’m putting together a program for other divorced Christian women considering remarriage, and I need your help.

If you are trying to navigate the dating scene (and its almost embarrassing), or you think your “man picker” might be broken (yes, I really had a counselor use that phrase), or most of all, if you’re just not sure about trusting your own gut (nobody else had valued my voice, so I had to learn that, too), I would so LOVE to talk to you.

Your stories will help me identify the biggest fears women face… and I’m sure we have some doozies to share!

In EXCHANGE for your precious time and thoughts I’d be so pleased to share with you my 4 greatest tips for Releasing Your Stress and Reclaiming Your Energy. They are simple, yet profound, and doable just about anywhere.

We can arrange our brief interview (20 minutes) via SKYPE or another platform. If you comment below or PM me I’ll send you the link through Calendly.

Remember ladies, God KNOWS the desires of your heart and He has WONDERFUL plans for you. May the relationship of your dreams be sent to you, gift-wrapped in a manly package of honor, passion and fun!