Of Cheesecake and….things…

The following subject matter is not suitable for children.

Imagine with me if you will…

You are walking to work or chatting with a friend early in the morning. Someone mentions cheesecake. You realize it’s been at least a week or more since you had some really good cheesecake and your mind starts plotting.

By mid-morning you’ve decided that this evening you are definitely going to be enjoying some cheesecake and since it’s so much better shared, you’ll call your husband and plan to go out.

By noon you’ve decided that you’ll go to your favourite dessert spot that serves up some of the best cheesecake you’ve had.

By mid-afternoon you have planned out what you’ll wear.

By the time you’re cooking up supper you have mentally arranged all the varieties and flavours of cheesecake that you’ve ever had and are contemplating what variation you will indulge in this evening, after all it’s not everyday that you have cheesecake like this.

At last the much anticipated moment has arrived, you’ve ordered and you and your husband are chatting about all the cheesecake fantasies you’ve had today are are giggling like little kids.

Finally it arrives and the moment of truth is here. It looks perfect and smells divine. You put the fork to your lips with the first morsel and………

one of two things happen.

1. The cheesecake is every bit as good as your imaginings have been all day long and you realize that this has to happen far more often…OR…

2. It isn’t so great. The cheesecake is dry, it’s missing something, it just isn’t doing anything for you. You are so incredibly disappointed, but you try to eat at least some of it.

With either scenario a crushing load of guilt may accompany the eating of the cheesecake.

* You have been doing so well on your diet, willpower has been your friend and now you’ve probably derailed all your progress.

* What you haven’t told your husband, because maybe he arranged all this as a surprise for you, is that you’ve actually been eating this very same cheesecake every day…you had a whole one tucked away in a corner of the cold-storage room and you’ve been secretly nibbling on it when no one’s been looking. You really don’t deserve such good cheesecake.

* You decide you deserve nasty cheesecake because someone like you doesn’t get good cheesecake.

* You’ve been told that cheesecake is bad unless you eat it a certain way. This is the right way, but it still feels wrong!

This has been the story of walking through healing for me. My expectations for married intimacy had been built up through all the graphic novels I’d read and the movies I’d seen. When it didn’t turn out to be quite so easy or satisfying it felt a little like choking on a piece of dry cheesecake, topped with a heaping helping of guilt and shame. In my mind I ‘knew’ how this was supposed to go and it wasn’t working out that way.

I had completely turned off any thought-life that I had about cheesecake. After all that is NOT what good girls do, they don’t think about such things. But I had thought about it plenty, I had been nibbling what I thought was cheesecake for years.  I wasn’t sure how to go about enjoying the real thing and I had no idea what the recipe was to make my own.

Making babies was the motivation for many years. After they showed up I was just to pooped to party most of the time and while we still had a great marriage this area was suffering. My dear husband researched and looked for solutions.  It turned out that most of our problem was in my head.

A few years ago we participated in a weekend of ministry with Ellel Ministries out of Calgary. I had gone with no expectations because I really wanted to see what God had in store.  It turned out that forgiving myself was the most difficult part of deliverance. Far more difficult than forgiving other participants. This was the beginning of healing – forgiving myself for my own choices. This was particularly difficult because I really was the one to blame, no one had forced me to do anything that I hadn’t been willing to do.

It is difficult to stare your own shortcomings in the face.

Forgiving myself wasn’t the whole answer, however, I still felt myself resistant to cheesecake offerings. Cheesecake had become more of a ‘have-to’ than a ‘get-to’. I knew this had to change. It wasn’t fair to my husband and it wasn’t fair to me. This was not how God designed things. So I started doing some reading.

Intimate Issues for Women by Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus proved to have just the information I needed.

I had so tightly locked the door to the cheesecake world that nothing was sneaking through. When my husband asked me if I had requests or thoughts, I never had any. Through reading their book I realized that there is a right and good place to dwell on cheesecake happenings and it is in the context of my husband and our relationship. This is still feeling pretty new for me but it is bringing healing into this area of our relationship.

There is always the danger of disappointment when you anticipate, however, I know now that I can’t let a disappointment rule the day. It’s okay to try again.

It looks a lot like grace.

I realize that the issues I’ve been discussing are difficult to comment on, however, I welcome your e-mails if you have questions, comments, areas you would like prayer for or to discuss anything that may have come up as a result of reading through this series. I can’t claim to have all the answers but I know who does.

If you would like to begin at the beginning you can do so by going here:

1. The Beginning of Grace

2. Monsters in My Closet

3. The Night the Flame Went Out

4. Something is Awakened

5. The Hooks Are Set

6. Slipping Into Darkness

7. Over the Edge

8. because love covers

About Lani

With six kids, a farm, a ministry and dreams poking out in every direction I need plenty of grace to keep all the balls in the air. The sweet thing is that when I drop them, that crazy grace of God is there telling me I'm still okay...and you are, too...welcome to this place of grace.

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10 Responses to Of Cheesecake and….things…

  1. Jacque Watkins July 25, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    Oh Lani…just caught up with your series this morning and can I just say how I loved it?!! This. This is the kind of transparency that will set hearts free. THIS is the kind of boldness that allows light to fill those dark corners of our hearts…the places where we struggle all alone, the basements of our hearts we’ve padlocked and let cobwebs grow but have imprisoned us from being healed and made whole.

    Thank you for your courage, your transparency, and for bringing to light what so many women find to be an insurmountable struggle…primarily because few are willing to even speak of it.

    You are beautiful and brave and I am so blessed to get to join you on this transparent road to get women talking and to help them know they are not alone. That they’re reminded there is NOTHING beyond God’s ability to redeem and restore. Absolutely NOTHING…and our stories hold the hope of His power made perfect in our weakness. Blessings to you sweet sister! xoxo
    Jacque Watkins recently posted…For if You’re Rushed and Need to Slow Down TimeMy Profile

  2. Katharine Barrett July 25, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

    Lani! 5 yrs ago I went to a healing retreat at the Ellel centre here in Ontario (Derbyshire downs in Kingston) God met me there, and changed everything! Thanks for your open, beautiful heart.

    • Lani July 26, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

      I am so thankful for that ministry. Quite a few people from our congregation are being helped by it.
      Lani recently posted…FMF: For the BrokenMy Profile

  3. Mandy July 26, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    Bravo to you for writing your story, Lani! I understand how emotional and scary the process can be, but I am praying that it was also healing. Your words will reach the hearts of those who need the hope you’ve offered.I’m so glad you took the risk to share this. Thank you!
    Mandy recently posted…What GRACE Says About LoveMy Profile

    • Lani July 26, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

      Thank YOU for being brave and writing YOUR story, you, Mandy are one of those people who helped me write…
      Lani recently posted…FMF: For the BrokenMy Profile

  4. Kim July 30, 2013 at 3:58 am #

    A beautiful series, Lani. I just read through the entirety. What a blessing you are able to share this, especially for young women or moms of young women who may be traveling similarly difficult roads.
    Blessings to you!
    Kim recently posted…Mirror, mirror, you don’t own meMy Profile

  5. martha brady July 31, 2013 at 11:58 pm #

    lani, i just got to sit down and read this whole thing. you did a great job describing sensitive issues. you were also vulnerable re you story. so helpful and touching. so grace giving…and glorifying to GOD!

  6. Donna August 5, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

    :0)…I know you may disagree, but you are courageous {because of all that crazy grace He poured out onto you!!!}!!!
    Donna recently posted…The {Lost} Art of Writing Letters-With a Pen…On Actual PaperMy Profile

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