Aren’t friends a great thing to have?
Over the past couple of months, we have developed a good, friendly relationship with Brad & Kate of One Flesh Marriage. I’m not sure exactly when we first crossed paths, but the fact that we share a heart for Christian ministry to marriages is unmistakable. Several months ago, Tiffani was showing me Julie Sibert’s site, Intimacy In Marriage, and I was immediately intrigued by this method of ministering to marriages. I began to spend some time clicking links, going from one interesting site to another… reading all sorts of posts about every topic under the sun, as it related to marriages.
Tiffani and I have known for several years that we are called to minister to people who are hurting in their marriages – and we have done so in many different ways. We have sat down couple to couple, man to man, woman to woman, and also done a lot of talking on the phone – sometimes at all hours of the day or night. We even got a special blessing from God when He allowed us to take part in a divorced couple’s path through pre-marital counseling and remarriage! Since we had been the ones ministering (long-distance) to them for so long already, their Pastor agreed to allow Tiffani and I to do their pre-marital counseling via phone calls for several weeks. And finally after 3 years of being divorced, Nate and Tami remarried on May 16, 2009. We even got to fly up to Minnesota, hang out with them for the weekend, and be present in their home for the marriage ceremony! THAT was awesome, and ALL honor and glory goes straight to the Lord for it!
Until I saw Julie’s blogsite, I had never considered branching out in this manner… but boy, she sure had my curiosity piqued! Soon I had found Larry LaSalle’s site called Awesome Husbands, and it looked like a good place to dig in. I signed up for an account, and Larry immediately reached out to me in friendship. I shared my marriage story with him on the phone, and eventually did an introductory marriage story on his site. Two weeks later, I guest posted my first real blog article (“The Most Beautiful Woman In The World”) on Awesome Husbands. (That article is also found here on My Beloved Is Mine.) Somewhere around that time, I also stumbled over Brad & Kate’s blog, One Flesh Marriage. Ironically enough, the day after I first posted “Beautiful Woman”, Brad posted “Ogle Away” on their site, and I heard about it through a tweet they put out. When I read it, I couldn’t believe how closely Brad’s article and mine lined up! I emailed with Brad right away, and he offered to drop a link in his post to mine. That was my introduction to the “trackback.”
Since then, we’ve spent a lot of time reading Brad & Kate’s posts. It’s obvious that we share the same heart for hurting marriages that they do. During the past couple of months we’ve also been blessed to make the acquaintances of a number of respected Christian marriage bloggers, most of whom can be found on our “CMBA Members” and “Marriage Blogs” pages up above. Just about everyone we’ve communicated with has been super friendly, and VERY helpful when we’ve had questions about blogging, technology, tools, and the like. We’ve also been helped tremendously by our friends retweeting our blog posts – which has resulted in more readers dropping by to see what we’re all about. We are SO grateful to every one of these who have taken a moment to help a friend!
Last Saturday, Brad & Kate and Jason & Tiffani got the chance to hang out together for the afternoon. It was a great time of fellowship! We started out by having a picnic at a beautiful National Park in Maryland – the halfway point between our house in Virginia, and their place in Pennsylvania. On the down side, it was a mighty chilly 49 degrees. So there we were, eating our chicken salad sandwiches and fruit… and we heard what sounded like rain starting to fall down through the trees. As we began to think we might soon be making a run for the cars, Kate says “Hey look guys… it’s not rain – it’s bouncing off the table!” Sure enough, on April 28th in Maryland, it’s SLEETING on our picnic! We laughed, figuring God was showing us His sense of humor! So we finished up our food, then the idea of finding a coffee shop was tossed out. There was definitely NO objection to getting in out of the cold! We pulled out the trusty Garmin and it told us we could find a Starbucks Coffeeshop about 16 miles away. Off we went!
We spent the next couple of hours warming our buns in a Starbucks in Maryland, and getting to know each other as friends. What a great time of stories, laughter and fellowship it was! Eventually we all began to consider having some dinner, and walked next door to Five Guys for some burgers and fries. All too soon though, it was time for us to think about getting back to our respective states, and the children we had waiting there for us. But before we went on our merry way, Kate asked a man outside the Starbucks to snap our picture – so here we are!
Plans are already being laid to have another get-together, but with all our kids this time. I sense dogs & burgers on the grill on a hot summer day coming up very soon! Looking forward to it!!