14

Changing things up

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Things have been changing in my life. Lots of things have changed. In no big or viral way, I have become a wife and a mother. And just that sentence alone is new a scary and exciting and makes me want to burst into tears, (probably the hormones). I have not written to you in a while, and the real reason is, I have been unsure of what you wanted me to say. I built my blog on being the single girl with high standards. A little defensive and open to love but closed to any imitations. I wrote from exactly where I was, exactly what I was feeling, and I felt so relatable and less alone. I felt empowering and motivating and like I was making a difference.

Now, I am in a different stage of my life, and as well as I can relate to you single girls, I can relate to the new wife. I see many of you can now also. I’m learning new lessons, becoming more independent and more dependent at the same time. I’m caring less about what people think and more about how my family will respond and grow in each decision I make. I’m learning to ask opinions and make my husband a priority. I’m learning to still be in awe and wonder about all the things God has prepared for me in my future. I’ve learned that change is scary and hard and exciting and inevitable.

Soon, I will be a mother, and as much as you don’t want thefulltimegirl to become a mommy blog, believe me, I don’t either. I will do my best to share lessons that I am learning in a relatable way for you whether you are a mom or grown kids or still yet to be married and start a family of your own.

I guess I just wanted to let you know where my head has been for the past, well, year. Blogging is not something I want to give up on. I guess I just needed some time to settle into a new role. I won’t forget what it was like to be single. I still have tons of relationship advice. I still have two shoulders to cry on. I’m still a girl just like you navigating unfamiliar territory the best that she can. And I still feel like God wants me to share my heart and impact some lives for Him in a small way.

To those of you still reading and following, I want to say thank you. It’s easy to give up on someone when they aren’t giving you what you need or have come to expect from them. I’m so glad you stuck around. I love hearing your stories and seeing you grow along with me. Feel free to leave a message here catching me up on what exciting things have been going on in your life! I would love to hear them.

I’m excited about what we have to learn ahead of us, and so thankful for what we have accomplished thus far. So that’s my introduction into what’s next. What exactly that is, I honestly have no idea but I’m up for the challenge.

:)

Lauren

4

Concerned but Not Consumed

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So much is going on right now, and there is so much to say about it. Seems our country is headed further and further towards hell every day. It’s a scary thing! It’s scary for Christians these days. We are no longer the majority. Everything we say offends people (the bible said it would). Everything we do is deemed “hateful” and “bigoted.” What is next for us? It’s a scary time to raise children. What will be left for them to grow up in? Will there be the same America we have loved for generations?

I don’t know the answer to these questions, but I do know in Whom I place my trust. Sin and wickedness are nothing new to our God. In the days of Noah, everyone did what was right in their own eyes. In the days of Jonah, Nineveh was one of the most wicked cities in the world. In the days of Abraham, Sodom and Gomorrah were home to some of the most infamous vile people in history.

Did those people silence the preaching of Noah? No. Did they stop Jonah from preaching the truth? No. Did Abraham run away and hide? Nope.

And we can’t either. Just like those and many men and women throughout the bible, we have a job to do. We must obey our God and live our lives for his glory. We must not hold our peace about what is right and what is wrong. We must tell the truth to people about what God says. That is the loving thing to do! And we have fallen down on the job for far too long.

Christians, we need to get back to being concerned about our own sin and getting it out of our lives. We need to get back be concerned about the lives of those around us. We need to be concerned about the will of God for our families, our churches, our cities, and our country. We need to be concerned about current issues and speak up!

However, we must not be consumed. Consumed with fear and anxiety. Consumed with doubt and apathy. Consumed with fighting and arguing. Consumed with ourselves and our lack of faith and our savior attitudes.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 1 Timothy 1:7

It’s easy to do. Controversy is everywhere. It’s in our face every day. We need to be concerned with what is going on, but we must not be consumed.

Our God sees. Just as he saw those who were faithful to Him in bible times. He knows. He knows the wickedness all around us. In these times, we need to trust our God. We need to get on our knees and turn to Him in prayer and beg Him to do a work in us– his people– and then do a work in our country. We need to do what’s right in big things and in small so that when God looks down on us, he sees a remnant of people who are faithful to Him alone. Because, our actions the actions of God’s people are what will heal our land. We must do what we can do. We must do and speak and live what is right.

In the coming months, there will be a lot to see, there will be a lot to say, there will be a lot to do, but most of all there will be a lot to pray about. We must pour out our hearts before God and take Him at his words. Concerned always. Speaking up constantly. Doing right continually. Trusting daily. Voting when it is time! Never consumed, but praying without ceasing…

Our God will hear us.

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

13

Pornography Myths and the Truth You Need to Know

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So pornography has been in the news a lot lately, right? What’s the deal with porn? I truly feel that most people do not fully understand the devastating affects of porn use, and that is why we, even as Christians treat porn use with a slap on the wrist, and an “everybody makes mistakes” attitude. Pornography is much more dangerous than most people think or really even care to learn about. However, in order to address this issue effectively, we HAVE TO understand just how it works to destroy.

Now, I could talk from here to Timbuktu about what the Bible says about porn. How in Matthew 5:28, Jesus says, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” How in Proverbs 7, it describes the “strange woman” and tells us that she will cost you your life, and that her way is the way of death. God tells us over and over that all sexual sins are forbidden and that we sin against our own bodies when we commit these sins. They are dangerous and destructive, and, yet, for some reason we choose not to believe him. Whether in acting on these sins, or in addressing them….. we simply do not believe God when it comes to this area.

I’m going to address several myths about pornography. If you don’t want to know, you should skip this article, but know that you won’t be held any less accountable for not knowing when the information is readily available to you. You won’t be able to say “no one ever told me.” Because I’m telling you right now. This post may make you uncomfortable, but these are the problems our generation and the next are facing… like it or not.

1. MYTH: The problem with porn is just looking…

The problems associated with pornography are not simply related to looking at naked women or wanting to watch people have sex. The purpose of pornography and what it does to the body are related. Pornography is NOT sex; however it triggers all the hormones associated with sex thus leading to masturbation. The purpose of pornography is to masturbate. This may come as a shock to some of you. I have had women tell me, “I never knew that is what he was doing.” This is why I am telling you. It is not just “looking with lust.” It is responding to those lusts and acting on them in a way your body and brain were never meant to function, sexually gratifying yourself outside of marriage, outside of your spouse, and outside of God’s plan for sex.

2. MYTH: Pornography is sin, but not that harmful…

Masturbation as a result of internet porn has devastating results especially on adolescents exposed to it. In the pre-teen and teenage years, if one is exposed to pornography, they are being sexual conditioned. This means they are learning “how it’s done” from internet pornography rather than real sexual experiences, and it can be forever harmful.

The crucial detail to remember is: “Nerve cells that fire together wire together.” This is true for everyone. For an adolescent brain, this means connecting sexual reward to the environment. Early sexual conditioning remains even when circumstances change, like marriage, and have the opportunity to wire in all sorts of fetishes that would normally seem aversive. This creates profound consequences for the body, especially the brain, and, in many ways, acts like a drug.

Dopamine is the most common chemical associated with pleasure. It plays a major role in reward-motivated behavior. However, I want to introduce to you another chemical called DeltaFosB. DeltaFosB is a transcription factor, a protein that binds your genes and turns them on or off. It is the master switch for addiction. Dopamine is what barks orders saying, “We like this! Connect these experiences!” And DeltaFosB does the work. This is the stuff that in a normal sexual relationship, such as marriage would bond you and your partner together, and form those deeply entrenched pathways in the brain. DeltaFosB sticks around for a very long time, altering your genes responses and bringing on measurable, physical brain changes. Once it is turned on, it stays on, and is not turned off easily. That is why long after the dopamine surge vanishes, the roads and pathways remain just as they left them.  These pathways are why early sexual experiences can have such a powerful impact and lasting affect. This process occurs with ALL addictions. Chronic overconsumption to alcohol or drugs create the exact same pathways. Dopamine surges –> DeltaFosB accumulates–> brain rewires to want it and do it again the same exact way. Remember and repeat. It leads you to not only desire it, but require it.

A study done in 2013 stated this, “Natural and drug rewards not only converge on the same neural pathway, they converge on the same molecular mediators and like in the same neurons (nerve cells)…to influence the…wanting of both types of rewards.” Kind of confusing but this is saying that addictions to drugs and addictions to porn/sex are formed in the same exact way in the brain with DeltaFosB driving the bus and creating these pathways. The more these pathways are traveled, the easier they become to travel again, like creating deep ruts in the sand. These pathways become memories, skills, habits, even methods of coping. You are more like to use an established path even when you don’t want to simply because it is the least resistant.

These pathways of overstimulation can lead to the destruction of the body leaving the user unable to have normal sexual experiences inside their marriage or simply unable to perform sexually at all. Think about it, this is why we have had a surge in ED diagnosis and medications in the past 15 years.

3. MYTH: I am not addicted.

At what point does one become addicted to pornography? Well, scientifically speaking, whenever the amount of stimulation causes the accumulation of DeltaFosB and other addiction-related brain changes.

How will you know? In short, you won’t. Especially if you were sexually conditioned to pornography at a young age.

Adolescent or teen brains are more sensitive to dopamine and produce more dopamine and higher levels of DeltaFosB than do adult brains. As a result, as a teenager, one is far more vulnerable to addictions. Older men can sometimes feel when they slip into addiction because they know what normal was before internet porn arrived. Their brains have generally been conditioned in the correct ways, and pathways have been formed. How does a 23 year old who has been watching porn since age 12 know when he is crossing the line into compulsive use? He doesn’t; because porn is his “normal.”

4. MYTH: Porn is not a widespread problem, and it can not touch me or my family…

Well, I shouldn’t have to tell you in light of recent events that porn is ravaging our country and destroying our lives. How do you think that all these men including pastors and Christian leaders ended up on Ashley Madison? I will tell you right now it started with porn. Like any addiction, porn is subject to the law of diminishing returns, meaning that each time you want the same high levels of dopamine release, you need something more shocking than the last time. And with the rise of internet pornography, it is at our fingertips. You can click, click, click away keeping dopamine levels high for hours on end creating an endless supply of DeltaFosB to create lasting brain pathways firing and wiring together. This is why many adulterers, rapists, and serial killers all started with pornography. Think it can’t happen to you? Think again.

As a wife, as a mother, as a sister, it is our responsibility to do everything we can to protect and help the men in our lives to stay pure. The world shoves temptation in their face every chance it gets, and satan would love to destroy the lives of Christian men more than anything else. We need to keep one another accountable, keep computers in the open where everyone can see what’s going on. We need filters and blocks on our smart phones. We need to know how to check history and cookies on computers and browsers as a level of accountability. There are lots of ways to do this. Safe eyes filter is a good place to start. The iPhone even has restrictions (Settings>general>restrictions>enable restrictions) you can set already built in that asks for a password when the user attempts to access restricted items or applications.

Many people, especially older generations, do not understand the difficulty in dating and finding someone who isn’t addicted hasn’t been addicted to pornography in the past. It is not impossible to find, but very very rare. We have got to educate our young people in this area so that they will know the dangers enough to STAY AWAY from such a harmful lifestyle. Many of our children wouldn’t dream of doing drugs or drinking alcohol, but dabble in pornography and end up addicted because no one is telling them how dangerous it is. We have to stop it this trend. We have to be informed, and inform others.

5. MYTH: My pornography problem only hurts me…

This is one of the biggest lies of Satan in this area. Think of all the devastation that porn has caused in the last few weeks. If you think all those men were just looking to cheat with real women and not watching porn, you’re kidding yourself. I personally have been the victim of pornography use in past relationships. I know first hand how it feels to be betrayed in this area. It destroys you, and you have to rebuild. (You can read my story in my article Pornography is not ok: what you don’t know can hurt you) I have witnessed marriages fall apart, women reduced to empty shells of what they once were because the men in their life have so taken what was sacred and precious to them and burned it in the fires of their own lust and selfishness. Families have fallen apart. Children have lost daddies and mommies to it. Hundreds of men are stepping down from their ministry positions, their jobs, and their lives are in turmoil all because of the sin and addiction of pornography all because they did not heed the warning in Proverbs when God said, “it will cost you your life.”

Readers, this is why in my last article, I said that I would leave my husband if he began watching pornography. Not because I would hate him, not because I want to throw my marriage away, but because the punishment needs to fit the crime. Pornography will destroy anyone who uses it, and I love my husband too much to sit aside and allow it to happen to him or us or my family. He would need a wake up call in this area like no other to realize just how serious of a sin this is. The purpose of leaving would be for him to realize that he truly would lose everything that is precious to him if he continues down this path. I could stay and allow that to happen, and go down that path with him, or I could take a stand and say, “No, this is me protecting you and protecting our marriage, and making you get help with this terrible terrible sin.” Not out of hate, not out of an attitude of quitting or giving up or throwing him away, but with an attitude of love and protection, and in an attempt to save my marriage from future harm.

6. MYTH: Once you are addicted, there is no hope for you…

Some research suggests that, in some, DeltaFosB takes 6-8 weeks free of porn/masturbation to decline, while others suggest it may stick around for up to 9 months, depending on the level of addiction, and prior sexual conditioning. There is still much to learn. Fortunately for us, our brain works with a “use it or lose it” system. Meaning, nerves that are used with flourish and grow stronger, and in return, nerves that are not used will wither and fade. Will your brain always crave it? To some degree, yes. Even long after alcoholics are sober, these brain pathways still cause cravings and are the number one reason behind relapses.

Of course, nothing is impossible with God. No one is too far gone for the grace of God to fill their life and help them to overcome addiction. God can heal, but consequences still remain. The pathways are there and you will have to fight the rest of your life to stay pure, but in Jesus Christ, we have the power to do battle with the enemy and win.

Having said all this, I want to reinforce that this is an actual scientific addiction. Depending on their level of addiction, porn addicts can NOT simply be told to work on their relationship with God and all will be fine. This may work for someone who has simply stumbled upon it and became curious once or twice, but NOT for compulsive users. There are many many Christian and secular rehabilitation venues where people can go to get serious treatment and help in this area.

Please visit {{this site}} for more information and resources on pornography.

Men and women, we need to be informed. We have to understand and warn our loved ones of the dangers and devastation effects of pornography. It is much more serious issue than many people realize. We need to understand that we need to treat porn addiction as an addiction, and do everything we can to keep it out of our lives. That means being loud about things that are uncomfortable for us. That means loving one another enough to keep accountable those that are closest to us for the sake of their lives, our families, our churches, and our society. Let us vow to be the ones who take an educated stand against porn out of hearts of love.

14

Josh Duggar and why I would leave him

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Yes, I’m joining the bandwagon. I’m going to write about Josh Duggar. I’m not doing it just to write about something relevant and grab views and capitalize on this family’s pain, but I’m doing it because I feel that it needs to be said.

I’ve written a lot about dating since I started this blog when I was single. I talked about how you should not put up with bad treatment. You get what you tolerate when it comes to dating. You teach people how to treat you based on how you treat yourself and what you allow into your life and relationships. I would get these emails from girls who would say how badly they were being treated by their boyfriends, and I would just want to say, “hello? Dump him!”

Well, now that I’m married, I’m here to tell you that nothing has changed. Do I love my husband? yes. Do I want to spend forever with this man? yes. Do I think he would ever be unfaithful to me? I have no reason to think that. That is why I married him.

However, plain and simple, I will get the behavior that I tolerate. If my husband were to come home late and drunk one night, and I did nothing about it, I could expect to receive that sort of behavior again. Would it be my fault? Well, no, he is the one who would be making those decisions, but I would be the one allowing it.

Now, I don’t know what kind of woman Anna Duggar is. I don’t know the dynamic in their relationship. I pray that she is smart enough to allow the consequences of Josh’s actions fall on him and not her precious family any more than they already have. I can only say what I would do if I were in her shoes.

If I were to catch my husband watching pornography, I would get in my car and I would go to my parent’s house, and I wouldn’t return until he was truly repentant and I was sure that it wouldn’t happen again. I recently told someone whose husband was involved in porn that the next time it happened, she would have a place at my house to stay. If my husband was found on Ashley Madison looking for women to cheat on me with? I would leave him. Plain and simple.

If you stay, he will not change. You were there and he did it anyway. So many counselors say this. When it comes to these kinds of sexual addictions, you need accountability and consequences.  I’m not saying divorce. I’m not saying I would up and get a lawyer the same day. Is there a chance that reconciliation is possible? Of course, always. I’ve witnessed it. It would take lots of biblical counseling, accountability from family and friends, and forgiveness, and healing and I commend those who can rebuild a healthy biblical marriage after an affair. I don’t know that I could do it.

You say, “What about love? What about forgiveness? and godliness?”

What about it? An affair has nothing to do with love. Pornography has nothing to do with love. Those things reveal nothing but selfishness. It has absolutely no connection with concern for someone else, maybe mulitple people-those you are supposed to love the MOST- that you are hurting, betraying, and destroying.

I am worth more than to be treated like a doormat. I am a strong, capable, loving, giving, daughter of the king, and my heavenly father has more plans for me than to stay with a man who is publicly humiliating me time and time again. Girls, find men who know where you stand on this subject. Women, stand up for yourselves. Don’t put up with sexually perverted attacks on your marriage. Just don’t. All good marriages need godly boundaries set and made known, and accountability when people fail. There are many other options than sucking it up and blaming yourself and trying to move on without counsel or healing or any real steps to prevent this from happening again.

We don’t know the whole story, and last I heard, Josh is receiving counseling and treatment. I hope for his sake, he recovers and can move forward in purity. I pray that God gives Anna strength for herself and her children for the coming years. She will need it.

Some people are probably not going to like this post, but that’s fine. Someone needs to hear this. You are not unspiritual or destroying the sanctity of marriage by standing up for yourself and your children. You have a right to ask for absolute faithfulness in your marriage. God commands it. You don’t have to tolerate less. That’s the truth.

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Faith Radio Interview with Lauren DeMoss on Strong women of God

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Last year, I had an interview with a radio program called, “On the Road” with Ryan Thomas. Just a couple weeks ago, I had another opportunity to speak with Ryan, and I wanted to share it with y’all as well! {Ya, i said y’all. I’m in Alabama now so I basically have to ;}

Anyways, head over to Faith radio and check it out. We discussed a little of my life lately, and my recent blog post “7 Characteristics of Strong Women of God.”

{{{Click HERE to listen to my latest radio interview!}}}

And if you liked it, leave a comment on their page! Thanks for listening!!

You can also check out last year’s interview HERE! :]