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I’m not gonna lie.  I am  not even sure how to write about this book.  I will tell you that a little over 40 days ago my husband and I had our yearly fight.  Yes, we have one a year and it’s always over the same thing…. his raging libido and my libido that just barely has a pulse.  This is a common argument among married couples so we aren’t alone.  Though in the throws of this argument, both of us feel quite alone.  I will also tell you that this particular subject (sex) is the ONLY subject that has ever brought  our marriage to its knees.

The argument is always the same…he wants more and I feel like I don’t get what I need outside of the bedroom.  No, I’m not telling stories outside of class.  This is just a truth of our lives, and I’m willing to bet its the truth for many marriages.  When a woman doesn’t feel like she is getting what she needs outside of the bedroom,  physical intimacy is just not what she wants to give to him.  Then it becomes a vicious cycle.  Doesn’t it?  I know you have been there!

So we have tried therapy…not much help and I won’t get into it.  Let’s just say Boise,Idaho,  is much too small of a place when it comes to finding good therapists.  Desperate for guidance and help, we decided we would try anything.  We rented the movie Fireproof….about making your marriage “fireproof”..surviving anything.  We knew it was a conservative Christian movie on  marriage, but we thought we would watch it anyway.  It ended up being more about “accepting Christ as your Savior” than it was about saving a marriage.  The movie  pretty much turned my husband (and myself) off.  So in hopes that the book it was based on (The Love Dare) was a bit different, I purchased the book and started the journey….  The Love Dare.

The Love Dare gives you 40 days of dares to follow in hopes of helping your marriage grow stronger.  All of it is based on traditional, conservative Christian values.  It has been featured on Focus on the Family.  If you are a fan of Focus on the Family and/or are a Christian with traditional marriage values then this book is for you!  It is full of traditional wisdom, advice and Bible verses!

I, on the other hand,  was skeptical at best when I started this book.  Let’s face it, I bought it for TRACY to read..not for me.  But he didn’t pick up the book for an entire week.  Instead, I picked it up and started taking on the Dares.  At first I was resentful.  I resented the fact that (in my perception) Tracy wasn’t doing any thing to make “us” better.  It was all me.  It was all of my fault and all of me trying to fix it.  It felt very one-sided.  But I kept going through the dares telling myself to “trust the process” (this becomes very important come about day 35..I’ll explain later).  Eventually, I started seeing some change in Tracy and the way he treated me.  This Love Dare stuff was working!  Yay!!!!  We started communicating better.  He started doing little things for me around the house.  My “love tank” (as mentioned in The 5 Love Languages which I read while doing the dare and have already blogged on) was filling up!  Yay!!!!

Then came days 19, 20 and 21!  This is where the book turns to a very Christian book…daring you to pray the prayer of repentance and accepting God into your heart.  Most of the days AFTER days 20 and 21 are focused not on the  marriage itself but on your personal relationship with Jesus and how this pertains to your marriage.  Even going as far as to say, “The truth is, you can’t live without Him (God) and you can’t love without Him.  But there is no telling what He could do in your  marriage if you put your trust in Him.”  So, unless I accept the Christian God, I can not give or receive true love?  My marriage won’t work?  I beg to differ!  I take a great exception to this!  There are millions of marriages that thrive and the spouses do not ascribe to the Christian belief!

With that said, I do believe there are some great points in this book.  And even in the pages I just mentioned, I found that as long as I translated what the book was saying into my own personal spiritual belief and trusted the process, it made a heck of a lot of sense.  In pages 19-21 it talks about asking Christ into your heart.  I do not believe God lives outside of me.  I believe that I am and always have been ONE/UNIFIED with God.  I believe God IS love and God IS perfect…and since I am ONE/UNIFIED with God (and so is my mate) then I have only to Recognize this and know this to be true..to remember this…and then I am UNIFIED with that same love that this book refers to.  And YES!  It helped me with my marriage :).

I loved the Dares in this book…especially in the beginning :).  They were great reminders of how I should show up in my marriage…patience, kindness, selflessness, thoughtful, and so much more!  After ever day (40 in total) of reading, you will receive a dare and then a place to reflect on that day’s dare.  I did learn a great deal about myself and it was totally worth the time and the days it took to do it.  I will continue with much of what I read in  mind.  Remember when I said I would talk about “trusting the process”?  Well here it is.  All the way through, I kept telling myself to let go of the completely Christian stuff that would normally turn  me off and just “trust the process”.  Well around day 35, I started week 7 of my seminary class, and the title of the workbook section for week 7 was “Trust the process of life”.  There are no coincidences in life!  I love how  my life works perfectly!  Being able to blend what I  learned in this book and what I know to be the truth about my spiritual beliefs was a fun challenge and very enlightening :).

Like I said, this book is conservative Christian and I totally believe it is the IT book on marriage for a Christian couple.  It is phenomenal.  I’m still look for the IT book on  marriage for those of us who are metaphysical and more spiritual.  My husband told me that  maybe I should write my own book…umm..ya..not going to happen.  Who would listen to me anyway?  *laugh*  Aside from the fact that we have been together for 27 years and with the exception of the once a year discussion we are incredibly  happy, why else would someone want to learn  marriage secrets from me?  However, I really wish someone would take The Love Dare and re-write it and re-word it from a Religious Science perspective :).  It might have been easy for me to re-think it while I was reading it, but I guarantee you, it would piss some other people off.  *laugh*  Which is a shame…because it really is a great marriage book :).

 

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Rules to Achieve title of Lieutenant Badass (or as I would say…to live by):

1) Go Outside

2) Quite the Internet

3) Do Something That Scares You

4) Something New

5) Tell Your Parents the Truth

6) Fix Something You Did When You Were Being a Total Douche Bag

7)  Make A Decision

These are just a few of the jewels of wisdom you will find in this book!

So if you have been reading my blog at all, you might have read that I have started Fresh Meat practices for the Treasure Valley Rollergirls (Roller Derby).  This is something I have always wanted to do, and I’m loving it.  I even have a derby name now, thanks to my fellow rollergirls.  It’s  Martha Smashington, as in Martha Washington, only replace the “W” with “Sm”.   For short, everyone calls me Smashington…well okay, not everyone, but the other Fresh Meats and one of the Vets do :).  It will catch on.  *laugh*  Anyway, since starting Derby it has pretty much taken over my brain; I have learned from Vets (and in reading this most recent book) that Derby has a way of doing this to a girl.  So when I saw this book was about Roller Derby..or a girl who gets involved with Roller Derby, it became a MUST READ!

It’s about a woman with a broken heart who is trying to figure out what to do with her marriage, and her co-worker introduces her to Roller Derby.  She becomes Fresh Meat.  There is a lot of reading about relationships, both romantically and with friendships.  There is talk about following your dreams and doing what you love instead of “what brings the money in”.  But mostly its about being true to yourself and life lessons learned through Derby.

I have to be honest, when Roller Derby was first introduced in the book, I silently cheered:  “Yaaaay!!!!!”  I was so excited to finally get to the part I really wanted to read about.  *laugh*  What can I say; it gets in your blood!  Once it got into the Derby stuff, I immediately found a kinship with our Heroine.  I’m Fresh Meat; she’s Fresh Meat.  There is even a part where she breaks her tail bone and learns one very important rule when healing from a tailbone injury:  You must not sneeze!!!  Since I too have a tail bone injury (thanks to Derby) I laughed and totally empathized.  It’s allergy season here in Idaho, and I have been sneezing up a storm…..OUCH!!!!

So I loved what our heroine found out about the Derby and the way she thought about the women who played in it.  Here are some excerpts from this part of the story that I absolutely found true and love about the Derby from my own perspective:

“These women are all different shapes and sizes, and they move like they were born with roller skates attached to their feet.”  (I love that this is  sport for all shapes and sizes of women!  I also love the fact that you can get newbie skaters out on the track right along with women who seemingly were born with skates on their feet.  I have always felt like I was born with skates on my feet….its my endurance and strength that needs the work now.)

“They take off their helmets, and I’m taken aback by the long hair that flows from their heads.  After all that brutality, that aggression, their femininity makes them seem like superheroes.” (I think if Wonder Woman was going to  play a sport, it would be roller derby!!!!)

“But, if I have to be completely honest, it looks like a lot of fun.  Part of me wishes I were brave enough to try  something like that, to be the kind of woman who could just strap on some skates, climb onto the track, and take off.  It  must feel pretty great to be able to go that fast, to slam into someone and not worry about the consequences.  To be an athlete.  To be strong and confident and fit.  I get winded from climbing the stairs to my apartment.”  (I have sooooo been there!  I have found the courage to follow one of my childhood dreams and really LIVE life to its fullest!  I’m still learning to do the slamming part, but I have been learning some blocks.  I have to be honest, it does feel great!  It does feel great to be an athlete…even if I get seriously winded and noodle legged and can’t skate with the Vets yet.  The point is, I’m DOING IT!  What have you been waiting to do?  What have you been afraid of trying?  Get out there and do it now!)

LOL, here is another great quote that sums it up, “Come on, you know it’s fun,” she continues.  “You go fast, you hit hard, and you do something most people are way too chicken**** to do.”

I know you have probably heard all of the clichés about team work and how they apply to real life, but I wanted to share with you what our heroine learns:

“Partnering is key in roller derby.  If you try to play by yourself, you pretty much end up useless.  It’s something I’ve grown to really appreciate about the sport.  You always need someone, and someone always needs you.  Even the Jammer, who looks like she’s on her own, actually has an entire pack of girls who have her back. We are all in this together.”  (Does this sound like life to you?  Can you really go about life completely alone without the help of someone else?)

The very last page of the story ends on page 309, and the last 2 paragraphs sum it all up!  But if I shared them with you, there would be no point in reading the book.  It kills me to keep my favorite part from you!  You will just have to read it for yourself.

This is an awesome book about finding yourself, grabbing on to courage and living life!  It’s one of those Girl Power books that is going to take you on a fun journey (but remember her heart is broken..so there is gonna be some of that sappy sad stuff in there too…just like in life, you gotta put up with a little bit of rain before you can enjoy the rainbow!) For all of you Rollergirls and Rollergirl wannabes….pick up this book!  I guarantee you, that you will find something in this book you can relate to!

There is even a glossary of Roller Derby Terms!!!  I learned a lot of things about the actual sport while reading this book; so its educational too!  *laugh*

But for now, I wonder if maybe I need to create a Superhero boutfit (pick up the book and turn to the glossary to find out what that is 🙂 ).

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