Reflections & Resolutions

During the holiday season it is normal to reflect on the last year– to reminisce on the amazing and beautiful things that have happened and to bid farewell to the not so beautiful parts that our story held. 

As I look back on this year, initially my feelings are that in many ways it’s a year I am happy to say goodbye to. It’s held many challenging times for our family from issues with children, to health concerns with parents and more. I will be grateful to have 2022 in the rearview mirror. Even in the most difficult of times though, there were always blessings along the way. At our lowest points of the year the Lord provided family and friends to come alongside us as we walked the dark roads. Some of the friends we began the year with we no longer call friends, but those friendships that remain after the storm are truly something to treasure because they were fortified. And we have gained new friends along the way! 

There have been some amazing times of healing and growth this year too. The Lord has been so faithful to our family (isn’t He always?)! He provided supernatural insight, protection, peace beyond understanding, healing and new paths for us to journey on. He has blessed us through emails from some of our amazing readers telling us of their own journeys and the impact that Aching for Eden has had in their lives. We have been encouraged to hear how the Father is leading you and are honored to be part of your stories. We have had many times of sweet fellowship with brothers and sisters in the faith, naturist and non-naturist. We are so very grateful for each and everyone of you, as you have all been a part of our 2022 in some way!

Looking ahead to a new year also causes us to analyze what we would like to change or do better. Usually people commit to exercising more or eating less. People seem to want to start the new year by getting rid of what some consider bad habits like smoking or drinking or just being lazy. While exercising more and eating better and putting down the cigarettes are all good things, I think often times we overlook some of the other bad habits we have, like speaking poorly to others and to ourselves. I think many have very bad habits when it comes to their thought life. We judge others harshly and then turn the judgement on ourselves. We could all benefit from cleaning out the dirty little spaces of our minds that cause these reactions. I’ve started this process in my own life and I know many of you have too. The knowledge of Imago Dei helps greatly with overcoming negative thinking! While I have intentions of treating my body better this year, I have intentions of treating my mind better too. I want to rest in the Father’s affection for me and internalize more fully the fact that He has the same affection for all of us.

As we look forward to 2023, the Scripture that comes to mind is Numbers 6:24-26. As the Lord instructed this blessing to be spoken over the Israelites, so we too, speak it over you:

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.”

We look forward to 2023 with eager anticipation of where the Lord will lead next!

Happy Nude Year!


How Has Naturism Motivated You To Better Health?

By Figleaf

Often as we mature in our Christian walk we discover that some of our beloved scriptures take on a new meaning for us. The deeper understanding that comes with that process is always a benefit for the child of Father God.

The title of this article comes from 1 Corinthians 6:20, “for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” That scripture (in my pre-naturist days) admonished me to not lust or act sexually lewd along with a host of other “thou shalt nots”. It was a verse that often reminded me of my failures rather than carrying a positive connotation.

After becoming a Christian naturist it took on a whole new meaning as I learned the joy of viewing my body as the image of God. I began to look at my body as a special gift that I get to live in with the Spirit of Jesus. That privilege allowed me to enjoy the freedom of my body in a whole new perspective and environment along with a wonderful social network of other naturists. Hiking, fishing, swimming, lounging, worshiping, and a variety of other healthy activities are now part of glorifying God in my body while revealing His image as He originally intended. What a blessing!

But I’m discovering even more of what this verse can mean. For over thirty years I have been a health conscious person. My wife and I have dedicated ourselves to a natural and spiritual pathway for health and healing in our bodies. Much of this mindset was birthed with the onset of my wife’s diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. I began to really enjoy studying all of the wonderful ways the human body functions internally, and how all of the natural supplements, herbs, and therapy can bring health along with good exercise.

It was during my first couple of visits to a Naturist resort that my health consciousness was once again kicked up a notch or two. While enjoying those socially nude days I discovered what poor posture I had. For the first time I was able to take some outdoor selfies while fully nude. Those photos presented a much more natural view of myself as I discovered my posture was slouched with rounded shoulders, a swayed back, and extended belly! On top of that, just a quick glance at a couple of other really healthy guys with excellent posture showed me that improvement was possible and greatly needed.

Now I hear some naturists say, “but you’re beautiful just the way you are!” Of course I am! But that doesn’t negate the need or desire for improvement. I still want to be the best version of me that I possibly can be – spirit, soul, AND body.

I still want to be the best version of me that I possibly can be – spirit, soul, AND body.

As good as all that sounds, it was really just all about ME. I just don’t like sickness and disease and all the grief it can bring. That’s good motivation and has reaped many rewards in spite of the fact that we live in corruptible aging bodies that go haywire every now and then. But then again, I’m discovering there’s more to be grasped from this verse – especially the part about “glorify God.”

It seems I’m coming to a place in my life where I have a different motivation for being as healthy as I possibly can, and that reason is simply to GLORIFY GOD! I know that I can’t keep every disease or infirmity out of my body. I know that I won’t be able to avoid every type of accident that could injure and disable my body. But I keep coming around to the thought that if I am able, then I should do all I possibly can to bring health to my body – not just for me – but for Him and His visible image that I live in for all the world to see!

So I’m beginning to dig a little deeper by paying more attention to what I eat, how I exercise, and what new nutritional and therapeutic information I can apply to my life. It takes a bit more time and focus, but I find it a particular joy now that I’m doing it, not only for me, but for my Father as I live in the Kingdom of Jesus as His image. It’s actually kind of fun!

The Year of the Locust

What a year, right? It has been such a difficult year for so many. That’s why we kind of feel bad that for us this year hasn’t been the typical 2020 experience. In fact, it’s been pretty great. But let’s rewind and go back to 2019 to explain.

Way back in January 2019, Mrs. Phil did something she hadn’t really done before. She picked a word of the year. She prayed and asked the Lord to give her a word that would be a sort of “theme” for the whole year. The word the Lord gave her was “transformation.” She had no idea what that meant, and it really didn’t apply for most of the year. Then in October, one conversation rocked her world completely. (You can read about this day on our “In the Beginning” post.) She learned that I, her husband, was a Christian naturist. Then I suggested it might help her with her own body issues. There is a whole lot more to the story, but she did a 180 and agreed. The Lord knew a huge transformation was going to take place in our lives, and that most definitely came to be!

Right before the calendar switched to 2020, I prayed the same prayer for the Lord to give me a word that would shape our new year. I was led to the word “Joy.” So for 2020, our word was “joy.” This was before Covid, before the heightened racial tensions, before the political frenzy. Again, the Lord proved to know what he was doing. Despite all these things that threatened to steal our joy this year, it has been a year of profound joy for us!

For me personally, there was the joy of being completely free of any draw to pornography, which had plagued me for most of my adult life. For Mrs. Phil, she came out of her bondage of extremely low self-esteem, and finally learned to love herself. Naturism played a huge part in our transformations which resulted in great joy. We celebrated our 20 year anniversary on a nude beach. We became annual members at a naturist park. We’ve enjoyed a deeper and closer relationship with each other and with God. We are teaching our children new and better principles for life, so they will not experience the years of bondage that we lived with for so long.

We started this blog to tell our story and encourage others. We called it “Aching for Eden” because we long to restore the innocence of Adam and Eve in the garden, naked and unashamed, enjoying sweet fellowship with their Creator. The phrase “aching for Eden” comes from a song from singer/songwriter Andrew Osenga. The song is called “The Year of the Locust” and comes from Joel 2:25 where God promises to restore the years the locusts have eaten.

Life is hard, and everyone has struggles and seasons of locusts and times of joy and celebration. The year 2020 will go down as one of the craziest and “worst” years for many people. For us, we had almost two decades where we had a good marriage, ministry, and family, but I was hindered because of my secret sin of pornography. It hurt my wife, and contributed to her own issues with her self concept. These were times where looking back, the “locusts” were eating. After the Lord helped to free us from our bondage and liberated us from guilt and shame, and brought us so close together, it felt as if all those years had been restored. That’s one of the reasons we love Revelation 21:5 where Jesus says, “Behold, I am making all things new.” As the song says, we can now, “Celebrate and take joy as the dry bones dance.”

When we hear this song, it brings up a lot of emotions. We usually tear up, but they are happy tears. As we hear the guitar instrumentals throughout the song, we remember how God does his work in our lives. We remember where we were and where God has now brought us.

We hope you enjoy the song that means so much to us. We wish you a happy New Year, and pray for you, our friends and readers. May 2021 bring you unexpected blessings as you strive to follow Him wholeheartedly!

Song Lyrics:

Try our hardest not to think about it
Who are we fooling? We never stop
The longing, the hurting, the doubting
Worn out from waiting for a parachute drop

Hey you, in the reflection of the rearview
of a hit and run at the drive through
Slow down, what you’re chasing isn’t something
It’s a screenshot of a rumor in town
And the Spirit moves upon the waters

Take comfort and rest
In the heart of an uncivil war and you’re taking a beating
Blood red on your chest
He will restore the years the locusts have eaten
The locusts have eaten

Don’t know how to really talk about it
We smile over coffee and turn to go
Too worn down to reach out to another
Too dried up to tend the ground where we need to grow

Our plans are a lost key to a hotel
Where we checked out to go find ourselves
It’s time, and it always was,
And it will again, but we’ll never be who we were back then
When the Spirit moved upon the waters

Take comfort and rest
When the heart is an uncivil war and you’re taking a beating
Blood red on your chest
He will restore the years the locusts have eaten
The locusts have eaten
We’re aching for Eden

Celebrate! Take joy!
As the dry bones dance
I’m on a rock in the river
In this moment, I have a place to stand
And the Spirit moves upon the waters

Take comfort and rest
When the heart is an uncivil war and you’re taking a beating
Blood red on your chest
He will restore the years the locusts have eaten
The locusts have eaten
We’re aching for Eden