Ladies – know your cycle!

Originally published 21 October 2012
See details about the free ebook version of this post here

This post is about giving some practical advice to ladies regarding some biological issues.  This is probably the kind of thing that everyone else already knows – apologies if this is the case!  The point is that you should be aware of how hormones might affect you on different days of your monthly cycle.   Using myself as a highly humorous example, I am, regarding marriage, usually realistic to the point of cynicism, realistic (and unexcited frankly!) about many of the sacrifices, the pragmatic issues of living with someone else. Now into my thirties, while I am aware of the passage of time, instead of becoming more reasonable about criteria for my future husband I’m actually happily occupying myself by dreaming up ever more demanding points. Recent additions look beyond the man himself to my potential in-laws (from whom I neither want nor need any stress!)  On the whole, while yes, I would like to get married, I’m happily single, and quite content about it thank you very much!

And yet a few days ago, I found myself almost shouting at God in frustration.
“When are You going to bring this man, Lord?!!!  How much longer will I have to wait?!”  And then I was dreaming about how lovely it would be to be held in someone’s safe, strong hug, and I was almost at the point of tears. I honestly felt as if I was going to explode if I did not get said hug right that minute. I felt like just embarking on a month long fast to finally sort out the issue once and for all.  And I was just trying to pray and pray and pray and pray….Not for the first time in my life, I actually attempted to hug myself.  However, my arms are after all female arms and I do think the arms in question need to be strong male arms to have the desired effect!  😉
Now all this time my rational mind was trying to assert itself and I was sincerely trying to pay attention.  I was trying to remember how much hard work marriage entails, about issues of communication, children, which gender would tend to be the one that ends up doing most of the housework…all the reasons why I am usually  quite happy to be patient. And yet, none of these reasons were managing to prevail to restore my mind to a sensible state – all I could think about were those hugs! (And it also did not help that I was in the middle of writing an ebook which was (and remains) very tender and romantic, though I do say so myself! (It was at this point that copious references to hugs got added – some of which I eventually had to remove in editing!))
And then finally, after a good couple of hours of cry-praying, I finally remembered something.  I pulled out my diary and checked – and sure enough…!
To put it simply, as ladies, different hormones are released throughout our monthly cycles. Around the middle of our cycles, to coincide with ovulation, hormones tend to be released which make us more susceptible to romantic/sexual thoughts/feelings.When I realised that this was what was responsible that particular day, I was reassured that this was not some truly deep-seated issue within me, but a temporary thing.  In a way, you’d think that I could have worked this out before now!  Part of the issue is that this never advertises itself as the action of hormones, but rather feels as if it comes from my deepest self.  One clue could be that these thoughts will often hit out of the blue, unrelated to anything I have been thinking or reading or anything.

Anyway now that I do know, I can plan around it.  Sometimes these hormones can hit with such force that it might be very easy to act on the “feelings” they stir up and do something very very stupid.  How I’m planning to work with it is to fill my mind with relevant Bible verses in the days leading up, so my mind is not available to be casually drawn away into unholy fantasies.

Two things occur to me to guard against:

1) Firstly, the temptation to actually reach out, possibly to a particular person

If you are a lady, does this sound familiar to you?  What could be the practical ramifications of this in your life?  Could this result in unusually flirtatious behaviour with friends or colleagues?  What if you’ve been nurturing a mild attraction to someone?  Could you find yourself more at risk of consciously or unconsciously seeking out this person to spend time with, perhaps beyond sensible boundaries….?

If you are not married, and you are finding yourself increasingly desperate to get married, could this be at the root of your eagerness?
If you are married, would it be an idea to be extra careful, around this time, if for instance, you are experiencing difficulties in your marriage – at these times might you find yourself more susceptible to the gentle friendship of any kind friends?  (If you are happily married then of course by all means reach out to your husband – I believe that that is why God gave us these hormones in the first place!)

2)The temptation to reach out, not to a person, but possibly to a thing – a type of book, a movie. The danger is that you might develop destructive habits, for instance with pornographic literature, which might then extend beyond these hormonal times.

I am not a drinker; I have always stated that I would not want the important decisions of my life to be made for me by alcoholic beverages. “When should I have my first child, o Mr Bottle o’ Booze?!” The same goes for this – I would equally not want important and life-changing decisions to be made for me by hormones playing around in my body. Not only do I think it is important to avoid deliberately reaching out to someone or something, but I also think it makes sense to be especially vigilant about guarding our hearts and our minds from unsought temptations which might hit with extra force during this time.
(These temptations might come from eg sexually explicit literature, movies, music and music videos, books, art work, adverts (and other outright pornography), magazines, anything containing the name “Rihanna” – apologies if you’re reading this RiRi!…)

Bible Verses:
Proverbs 4v23:
23 Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.

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