Marriage Ministry Matters – September 2014

Welcome to the CMBA newletter!

Marriage Ministry Matters is CMBA’s new monthly newsletter. We’re excited about creating a resource to inspire and encourage the CMBA blogging community.

Our thanks to Chris (of for gathering up the pieces and getting us going.

Lori <>< (for the CMBA core group)

New Members

The following blogs joined CMBA this summer (June, July, and August). Do visit their sites and share an encouraging word.

Warrior Wives – Elizabeth Spence
Let’s Be Frank – Frank Walker
Wedlock gist – Olaide & Shola
Delightful Oak – Jenny
Unashamed Marriage – Karl & Sharon Leukert
The Forgiven Former Feminist – Morgan
The Color of Marriage – Joe & Rhonda Robinson
In Touch Marriage – Jake & Jennifer Nelson
Only You Forever – Caleb and Verlynda Simonyi-Gindele
Lattes Laced with Grace – Sarah Wilson
Directed Path Ministries – Bradley Watson

Provisional Members (these folks are developing a blog or just newly blogging)
Kristina and Raf – Raf & Kristina
Bleeding Heart – Bishop Tarzs
Husbands Ablaze – Brian

Please check your listing on the member’s page to make sure that it is accurate and up to date. If it needs to be changed, send an email to Chris at

From the Forum

Have you visited the CMBA Member’s Forum recently? The forum is a safe place for us, away from the eyes of our readers, where we can gain insight, encouragement, practical help, and prayers.

This month, we’d like to draw your attention to a conversation about a practical topic: images. How do you decide what images are appropriate for your blog?

Lori started a thread and asked,

How do you define what is visually helpful and what is visually hurtful to our readers?

What do you think? How do you decide what images to use and how to present them?

Click here to join the conversation. If you have questions about the CMBA Member’s Forum, contact Lori at

How Do I . . . ?

Looking for ideas on how to make your blog images pop? Check out How to Create Pinterest-Worthy Graphics for Your Blog. If you’re one of the many bloggers using PicMonkey to do photo-editing, check out their how-to section to learn how to do some cool things. You might learn even more at 10 Design Tips Using PicMonkey That You Might Not Know About!

Other free photo editing sites include LunaPic and Canva. These sites all offer different features, so play around with them to see what works.

There are several sites for free images bloggers can use. Be sure you understand the terms of use. It is important to give proper credit for the images, and some sites may either require or disallow alteration of the images.

Some bloggers find it worthwhile to pay for membership or upgrade features at image or photo editing sites.

Social Media

Are you on social media? Follow CMBA!



By Bonny Burns

Our blogging buddies at SheSpeaks (Proverbs 31 speakers and writers conference) say Pinterest is the place to be.  I sat in on a round table led by mommy blogger, Ruth Schwenk (  She grew her blog from 0 – 400,000 followers in three years using Pinterest and Facebook.  According to Ruth, twitter is too ”business-y.”

So, in an effort to help CMBA and its members grow, here are a few Pinterest tips:

Collaborative Boards are the most effective.  A collaborative board invites many different pinners to pin to one board.  At this time, CMBA is trying to highlight the board ‘Christian Marriage and Sex’ as our star collaborative board.  The benefits of collaborative boards is that each pinner brings to the board their followers.  We combine followers and have a broader reach through collaborative boards.

A collaborative board is similar to a twitter feed.  As more pins are added, they scroll to the bottom.  Lots of active pinners mean the feed scrolls quickly and you would be able to pin multiple times during the day without people noticing repetition.

So, if you are a CMBA blogger on Pinterest and you do not follow the CMBA on Pinterest, please do so.  Then, email Bonny at and I will invite you to pin to this board.

And just a little FYI:  The best time to pin on Pinterest is between the hours of 2-4 pm and between 8 pm – 1 am.  High income women between the ages of 25-50 are mostly who you will find on Pinterest.

The best pins are ones that solve a problem and have an enticing picture.

Marriage Resource

Several bloggers have recommended Grace Filled Marriage by Tim Kimmel as an excellent marriage resource. Check out their reviews. Have you read the book? What do you think of the book?

The Generous Wife
Messy Marriage
Encourage Your Spouse
Leadership Couples 

CMBA Blog Challenge!

October Weekly Words of Wisdom – WoW!

What words have encouraged you in your marriage? What wisdom has helped guide you and your spouse in strengthening your marriage?

Each week in October, you are invited to post about wisdom or encouragement you’ve gleaned from various sources:

October 5-11, words and wisdom from family
October 12-18, words and wisdom from the Bible
October 19-25, words and wisdom from friends
Octobe 26-November 1, words and wisdom from blogs and books

Here are the rules:

  1. Each week in October, publish one post about the topic listed above.
  2. Share a link to each of your posts in the CMBA Member’s Forum. (The October newsletter will give you a direct link to the thread.) That way we can all read each other’s posts and add our comments.
  3. Grab a button to post on your blog letting your readers know you’re taking the challenge. You can save the picture above or use this code:    <div align=”center”><a href=”v” target=”_blank”><img src=”” width=”175px” height=”175px” border=”0″ alt=”CMBA”></a></div>
  4. The best part of the challenge is to visit other CMBA marathoners to leave your comments. It’s a fun way to make new friends and attract new readers during the challenge.
  5. At the end of the challenge, we’ll have another button for you to post to your site to show that you’ve completed the challenge.


Let’s Hear from You

We would like this newsletter to help you in your blogging marriage ministry. What would you find most helpful? What would help you feel a part of the Christian marriage blogging community? Click here to take a brief survey.

Behind the Blog

It’s fun to get to know the person (or people) behind a blog. The plan is that each newsletter will feature one blog. We will provide a list of questions; it’s up to the blogger which questions (or how many) to answer.

Meet Bonny Burns at Pearl’s OysterBedburns

Tell us about your blog: I encourage low libido women at (Pearl’s OysterBed).  Whether their low sex drive is from a physical or emotional place, I hope to inspire women to fully participate in the marriage bed.  Since God designed sex, it’s OK to enjoy it, to pursue change and to pray about it.

My personal journey toward libido restoration began in about 2004.  Pearl’s OysterBed didn’t hatch until March 2012.

I actually did put a lot of thought into naming my blog.  It was symbolic of the coastal area where we live (Wilmington, NC).  Also, it had the word ‘bed’ which alluded to sexual relations.  But, there is another reason.

Pearls are created when grit lodges in the flesh of an oyster.  The oyster instinctively begins layering a mother-of-pearl substance to smooth over the rough edges to prevent further damage.

The brokenness of our marriage was like glass shards in my flesh.  Faith and hope smoothed over the grit.  The Holy Spirit’s beautiful luster came in steps;  a layer of peace, layer patience, layer of seeing-thru-the-eyes-of-each-other’s-heart, layer of wisdom/discernment and a layer of get-over-yourself.  Inside, I’m always gritty, but covered with Christ, I feel lustrous.  I hope to help women find their luster, too.

I wear pearls often to carry this thought with me symbolically.

My favorite blog post is Why Sex?  Although sciency, it was a pivotal part of my personal journey.  The gist of Why Sex melded in my brain several years before blogging.  It radically inspired me to figure out how to rev up my desire for my husband.  I hoped God could use it to help other wives understand their husband’s persistent pursuit of sex is just as much emotional and spiritual as physical.

Writing Process?  What is that? I write best when I pray before I begin.  Seriously, He gives me the inspiration.

I try to take topics from real life; what Dave and I are currently dealing with, conversations or emails I’ve received, eavesdropping.  Or sometimes, I just google about libido and see what appears in recent research.

I rarely outline.  I start writing and see what happens.  Then, I’ll go back and rework it.  My current goal is to write 500 words a day.  My dream is to have three months of posts scheduled.  Right now, I don’t even have next week scheduled.

Recently, I started trying a new method of capturing post ideas.  I carry sticky notes with me everywhere and when a topic pops in my head I write it down.  Then I stick it on my new ‘post topic’ bulletin board.  I have about 30 sticky’s on my board now.

I love series’ because they keep me focused and I like researching the various angles of one topic.

The hardest thing to do for me is to write when I have a headache or if I’m super busy.

What would I be super busy with?  Although I no longer work outside of the home, I chair the board of directors for a non-profit called Christian Women’s Job Corps.  We empower impoverished and hurting women with job skills, life skills and hope from the Bible.  Visiting relatives who live out of state also squeezes on our schedule.

Do you blog in your pajamas? I blog in jammies whenever possible.

What has surprised you about blogging? What surprises me most is how God has blended blogging with my life offline.  I have written a post to have God send a person to me in real life dealing with the same issue.  It’s like he wanted me to be prepared before he brought them.

Advice to new bloggers: Do some honest soul searching.  Why do you want to blog?  If you blog for pageviews or dollar signs, you are probably going to struggle.  Blogging from a place of passion is what creates longevity.  Passion compels you to be satisfied to write for God’s glory even if the only person to see it is you.  (My dear friend, ForgivenWife Chris, helped me to understand I am writing for one woman and sometimes that one woman is ME.)

The second bit of advice is find balance.  I think many of us write because we have overcome an obstacle and want to share tools we’ve learned.  Those obstacles still lurk silently in the background.  You have to spend just as much time honing your spiritual life and offline relationships as honing your blog or those obstacles may rear their ugly heads.

I started to answer the question about telling you a little bit about my spouse, but it turned into a blog post and you can read it here.

Image courtesy of digidreamgrafix at


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