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.” ๐Ÿ˜‰

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!

The view from our picnic table

The view from our picnic table

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!

Jason & Tiffani, Kate & Brad

Jason & Tiffani, Kate & Brad

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!!

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9 thoughts on “Marriage Bloggers’ Day Off

  1. How neat for you guys to meet! I wonder if there’s any CMBA members near So. California because I would so love to meet them!

    With willing hearts, God will continue to use His children all for His glory.
    Until the whole earth hears…..may we always be willing vessels to be poured out for Christ, to lift Him up for all to see.
    Jolene @ The Alabaster Jar recently posted…When Your Husband is Attracted to Other Women…& a Link UpMy Profile

  2. Thanks so much for sharing your experience and the pics. I hope to have the experience some day of meeting some (or all?) of the supportive marriage bloggers I’ve met online. (Yes, I am an actual person. ๐Ÿ™‚ ) It is encouraging to have like-minded folks reaching out with this ministry.

  3. Kate says:

    It was great fun and a huge blessing! We cannot wait to hang out again! Thanks so much Jason and Tiffani and the sleet was most memorable!
    @Jolene – I would jump on CMBA and share where you are! I know Brad and I would love to meet each and everyone of you someday!
    @J – Definitely hope to meet you someday! ๐Ÿ™‚
    God’s design for marriage is so worth it! Blessings to you both!

  4. Erin (Mystery32) says:

    So great! Glad you all were able to do this! Now if only some of you would head on down to Texas [y’all]! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Erin,
      Where in Texas?
      Debi – The Romantic Vineyard recently posted…It Takes Time To Make TimeMy Profile

  5. What a great story, and one I’m sure you’ll cherish forever. We have loved getting to meet many bloggers face to face in the last year, and the list keeps growing of new bloggers. Like you and Tiffani. Next time you’re visiting your in-laws, give us a call. We guarantee you won’t get sleet here…but we do have lovebugs that can ruin the best picnic plans. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks for sharing!!
    Debi – The Romantic Vineyard recently posted…It Takes Time To Make TimeMy Profile

  6. Pearl says:

    That’s such an amazing connection! And a blessing to strengthen and encourage each other in person in this much needed ministry. It has been great to get to know you both better through this posting!

    I, too, would like to meet the CMBA team members someday. Anyone near the southern coast of North Carolina? If you are ever nearby (like Myrtle Beach) give me a shout!
    Pearl recently posted…Libido Boundaries?My Profile

  7. Kevin Lageer says:

    Hey All, I am fairly certain that Jay Dee is Canadian, but are there any others on CMBA that reside North of the 49th? It would be great to connect and lay out some plans and focus together.
    Any takers?
    Blessings, Kevin
    Kevin Lageer recently posted…Marriage Is An Incrediblyโ€ฆMy Profile

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