Belated Valentine’s greetings from Sarah Sundin in California! What an appropriate time for us to chat with Cindi McMenamin, an author of numerous nonfiction books for women—and her latest focuses on improving marriage. I love what she has to say, and I’m sure you will too.
Welcome, Cindi! Tell us about your book, 12 Ways to Experience More with Your Husband.
Every marriage can grow stale after a while. But you can reignite the joy and passion you and your husband once shared. In this book I show you small changes you can make to touch your husband’s heart in a big way so you can renew and reglue your relationship.
What inspired you to write this book?
After finding a stack of love letters from my husband that were nearly 30 years old, I realized I hadn’t received one of those from him in years. And then I realized that I was, in many ways, no longer the same woman to whom my husband had written those romantic, endearing words. I realized if I became that woman once again and treated him the way I once did, perhaps he’d speak or write to me the way he once did. As I shared my journey to recapture my husband’s heart in conversations with women, I realized they, too, wanted to know how to experience more joy, trust, and passion in their marriages. Also, I receive so many emails from women asking for help in their marriages and I wanted to provide a resource to give wives tangible ways to keep him first, switch it up, close the gap, and stick it out (those are a few of my chapter titles, by the way).
What surprised you the most during the research or writing of your book?
I was surprised to discover that emotional disconnect, resulting from a failure to communicate (or communicating poorly) is the No. 1 reason cited for divorce today. A decade ago it was infidelity. Today, it’s an inability to communicate effectively with one’s spouse. That’s a workable situation and my book gives wives practical ways to close those emotional and communication gaps.
Wonderful! Something we all could use. How has God used the message of your book in your own life?
When I started practicing the “new wife” concept that God laid on my heart– becoming the woman I once was when we first married – it transformed my marriage.
What’s your favorite section in this book?
In my chapter “Close the Gap,” my husband wrote a sidebar called “Don’t Skip the Small Print” in which he “decodes” for wives what their husbands really mean when they say things that their wives misinterpret or misunderstand. That’s been helpful to so many readers already.
What themes do you return to again and again in your writing?
I often return to the theme of my first book, Letting God Meet Your Emotional Needs, that God is the Only One who can fulfill us in every way and once we have that foundation we can improve all of our other relationships.
Such an important concept to grasp! When did you first recognize God’s call to write for Him?
From the time I was a young child of 4 or 5, I was already writing “stories” because it was something I loved to do. As writing became not just something I enjoyed and excelled in, but a way to process life, communicate with God, and understand my own heart, I realized God had placed that dream on my heart to write …for Him.
Why do you write nonfiction?
I pretty much write what I learn. As God does a work in me, I write about it and find that so many other women relate. It still amazes me that God can use lessons, illustrations, and insights from my own life to help anyone.
Isn’t that incredible? I love how God works! Tell us about your most touching moment with a reader.
I met a woman while speaking at a retreat who came to hear me on a scholarship because she had surrendered her life to Christ and decided not to kill herself through a drug overdose after reading the introduction and first chapter of my book, When Women Walk Alone. I saw her again, 10 years later, after her story was included in the 10th Anniversary edition of that same book.
What a great testimony! What ministries are you involved in, and why?
As a pastor’s wife I have directed women’s ministries for more than 20 years and discipled women one-on-one and in group settings for the past 30 years. Currently I am a mentor to another woman in a Mentoring Program called Tandem at my church.
Do you have pets and do they inspire your writing or hinder it?
My daughter’s black cat, Mowgli, constantly sleeps on my desk and keeps me company during long hours of writing at my desk. When he’s ready to play, he gets behind my laptop and slams it closed (repeatedly — as I’m writing) until I stop typing and pay attention to him for a while. One day he fell asleep on my open Bible and I took a picture of him and posted it as encouragement to “rest on the Word of God.” I guess you could say he both inspires me and interrupts me, depending on his mood.
He sounds adorable! Everyone struggles with time management in our 24/7 world. How do you stay disciplined and meet your deadlines?
I write out (and prioritize) each day’s schedule the night before, including my time with God, cardio or weight-lifting workout, appointments, deadlines I must meet, and when I’m going to walk later in the day to rejuvenate my thinking and creative process. I have to “live by the list” at times.
Tell us about your favorite library memory.
I used to volunteer at my local hometown library during middle school and was then paid as a district librarian’s aide during high school. I loved books, the smell of books, handling and cleaning the books, and helping people check out their own books.
What are your hobbies or activities or passions outside of writing?
I love exercising, being outdoors in Sunny Southern California where I live, and vacationing with my family on deep discounts at Disney resorts and parks (my daughter works in Guest Talent at California’s Disneyland.)
Nice! I used to work at Knott’s Berry Farm and loved the passes! Tell us about your next project.
After writing 17 published books and helping so many others get their first book published, I’m finally working toward my certification to be a Certified Writing Coach and Communications Specialist so I can continue to help others write the book that God has placed on their hearts. So many people long to write but don’t know where to start and how to make it happen. I’ll finally be official in how I can help them toward that goal.
What a great thing to do! Thank you for sharing with us, Cindi!
Writing for Him,