I never remember who thought up choosing a single word to guide your year. But the idea appeals to me—and many others—and I’ve done it several years in a row.
Sometimes the word I choose really does help steer my decisions throughout the year, and other times I forget the word by, say, March. Last year, however, my word was HEALING, and that really was the guiding principle all year long. I pursued healing in my body, my relationships, and even my faith. And for the most part, I found it.
Still, these last two years have been extra-hard. So, what should I focus on now? What is my One Word for the New Year?
My One Word: REBOOT
The first word that popped into my head was RESET, because that’s what I felt like I needed. But reset implies starting over, and that’s not quite right.
After mulling it over a bit, I realized that REBOOT captured the essence of what I want: to clear out all the data and “cookies” I don’t need while keeping the core aspects that help me function well in life. For example, my trust in Christ and my commitment to my marriage don’t need a reset, but I should reconsider some priorities and plans.
Also, I have to admit the appeal of a word that included the word “boot,” because I might have an affinity for boots—cowgirl boots in particular.
Just a sampling of my BOOTS!
Some of you likely feel that a REBOOT is what you need as well. Maybe you’d rather call it a spring cleaning or structural reorganization or simply a do-over.
But the idea has plenty of support in Scripture. One passage that immediately occurred to me was Ecclesiastes 3:1–8. Here are just a few of the lines:
There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every matter under heaven…
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted….
A time to tear down and a time to build up….
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A New Year can be a good time to ask: What do I need to keep and what do I need to throw away?
Rebooting My Ministry
With that question in mind—what to keep, what to let go—I have a few “announcements,” if you will.
Blog Less, Create More Resources
As of December 2021, I’ve been blogging for 11 years. But blogging is no longer the best way to reach people, particularly new people.
And I have over 1000 posts, meaning I’ve covered a whole lot of ground already. New readers do find me, but often through older posts, so my site still serves its intended purpose of educating and encouraging spouses to have sex according to God’s design.
At this point, I’d prefer to spend more time creating resources than blog posts. I have a book I’ve been working on for a long time without finishing, and two other book ideas I’d love to get to. Plus, I want to produce more resources that help couples put into practice hot, holy, and humorous sexual intimacy.
I’ll still pop in a couple of times a month to blog, but I will prioritize recommending and producing other resources.
Keep Podcasting & Speaking
Our Sex Chat for Christian Wives podcast will pass 1.5 million downloads pretty soon. That number floors me, and good stats are not why we do the podcast, but it does speak to some special sauce we have going and the desire of wives to absorb what we offer. We’re eager to keep talking about healthy and holy sexuality and how wives can find and embrace it!
Chris Taylor and I also have a podcast for husbands called Knowing Her Sexually. We don’t tell husbands what to do, but rather help them understand the wife’s viewpoint, so that they can create healthier, happier sex lives. We’ve received excellent feedback for what we’re doing (as well as some flak for telling it how it is when what-it-is isn’t what someone wanted to hear, but that’s part of the gig). Check out our website to learn more about KHS Ministry.
Podcasting is speaking—into a microphone, publicly broadcast—but I’m also excited about doing more live speaking in 2022. I have a few MOPS meetings lined up, as well as one possible trip to Ohio (fingers crossed). If you want to know if I’m any good, feel free to check out some sample videos and/or shoot me an email to ask about me showing up virtually or in person to your group. (By the way, I am thrice vaxxed and happy to follow whatever Covid-19 precautions your church or group take.)
Revamp Current Resources
In case you haven’t heard, I’ve written five books and a short story. Four of those books have similar covers, which I’d like to revamp so that it’s clearer that these are books about married sex life. But also, I really want to get Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design into audiobook format. So I’m setting that as a high priority in the coming year.
Moreover, I have an online store with some resources, but I can and should add more.
Finally, I want to peruse some old posts and update any broken links, bad images, etc. That kind of housekeeping is not super-fun, but it needs doing to keep my site as beneficial as possible.
Focus More on Higher Desire Wives
When I first launched this ministry, there were few Christian resources about hot and holy sexuality. The ones that existed often struck me as a being so clinical or spiritual that they missed the practical and fun part of sex. But now? I can point y’all to many books on Christian sex, some quite good. There just isn’t the dearth of sex resources there used to be.
Now, not everyone has gotten the message! We still have substantial opportunities to inform, encourage, and support spouses in pursuing godly sex in marriage. But I’ve become increasingly convinced that I don’t need to write about certain topics when I can just point to someone else who did it first and/or better.
Where is my voice still needed? Still offering a unique perspective? Shining light on a topic that needs a spotlight? Higher Desire Wives.
I understand them, not only because I’ve been one. But I’ve also been matched with my husband and been the lower drive spouse. From sheer experience, I understand better than many how the different sides of that equation feel.
But HDWs (higher desire wives) also have a special place in my heart, because we lack resources aimed at us! I’m thrilled that more Christian resources now give that important nod to couples where she has the higher drive, but it’s still often a nod, not a spotlight.
That book I want to finish is about higher desire wives, and I also have a community of HDWs that I plan to spend more time with in 2022. Plus, I’m looking for opportunities to talk about the HDW experience with authors, ministers, podcasters, and whoever wants to understand this side of things better.
And finally…DRUM ROLL, PLEASE!
Host a Hot, Holy & Humorous Cruise!
Yes, I know right now is not the best time to cruise. Although I did it twice at the end of last year—once with Spock in November, and once with a best friend in December. (We squeezed those bargain-priced trips in before Omicron hit hard.)
But I have high hopes that cruising will be back on track in about a year. So that’s what I’m aiming for: a couples’ cruise focused on building or improving sexual intimacy in your marriage in January or February 2023.
More details will be coming soon. But in the meantime, start thinking about getting away with your beloved and getting going with your sex life!
A Final Word
Before I wrap up this self-indulgent, what’s-up-with-me post, I want to offer a Texas-sized thank you to several folks. Specifically:
Donors. I received more donations this past year than I ever have, and I can honestly say that they kept my head above water and going for another year. The base cost of running my ministry (website, stock photos, etc.) is about $1000. But that’s keeping the lights on, not much more than that. It takes about $3,000 to really do this ministry well. And that’s before I put any money into the Parker family account.
I can’t begin to thank my donors enough for their generosity in keeping me going and making plans for the future.
Encouragers. A few years ago, a friend of mine told me about her happiness jar, a jar in which she kept nice things that people said about her on small pieces of paper. Following her example, I grabbed a mason jar and began to do the same. Whenever I feel that things are particularly challenging or wonder if I’m making a real difference, I pull out that jar and read a few encouragements.
From time to time, I still hear from people who say the most beautiful things about what my ministry has meant to them. When I honestly believe that if your sexual intimacy improves, it was you and God that made it happen; my part was tiny. Still, it’s lovely to be encouraged.
Colleagues. I’m not the only one out here saying, “Hey, let’s have sex how God wants us to!” I’ve been blessed to experience synergy with goodhearted, ministry-minded folks who want to help individuals and couples experience what God intended. We don’t always agree with each other on specifics, but we share a common foundation and support for one another. I’m tempted to name all of them, but if I do, I’ll miss somebody!
I’ll just feature four of them here. Bonny Burns, Gaye Christmus, and Chris Taylor are the best ministry partners I could ask for, and if you’ve listened to our Sex Chat for Christian Wives podcast, I can testify that the trust and friendship you hear there is genuine. The fourth is Julie Sibert, of Intimacy in Marriage, whose compassion and sense of humor have kept me sane at times—not to mention that she has some excellent resources on sexuality.
Husband. I’d be shocked if Spock even read this far. He tends to scan my posts, not dive deep! Lol. But I mention him so that the rest of you know that he has taken care of our finances most of the time so that I could keep doing this. He has supported, encouraged, and sometimes critiqued me. He has gotten upset that more people aren’t buying his talented wife’s books. ~chuckle~ And he has listened to me talk about sex so much that even he gets a little tired of the topic.
Essentially, I wouldn’t be here doing any of this but for him. (If you did read this far, Spock, just know that you survived the reboot and I love you forever and a day!)
Readers. I don’t know what else to say but thanks for reading, following, commenting, and wanting the best for your marriage. I hope you choose a word, goal, or direction for 2022 that leads you where God wants to guide you. (See Resolution Week: What’s Your “One Word” for Your Marriage?)
Blessings, y’all! And Happy New Year.
A person’s heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps.Proverbs 16:9 (CSB)