Tag Archive | engagement

3 Things I Learned On The Day I Got Engaged

Today is the 25th anniversary of the day my husband asked me to marry him.

sc0079bb1fAs I reflect on that day, there are a few things that I might not have realized then, but that I’ve come to see as truths over the last 25 years.

1. Though I always wanted to have someone to love me best, little did I fully know that I already did. Though we loved each other and were excited about embarking on this new adventure, if David and I had any notion that we were the answer to each other’s emotional needs, we were going to be sadly disappointed. David is not the answer to that dream I had of having someone always know where I was and love me more than anyone else, though he does those things (except the knowing where I am part. Sometimes he forgets). Jesus already did that. I know, I know, He doesn’t play favorites, but the fact of the matter is, if I was the only one in need of salvation, He still would have died for me. That’s pretty spectacular.

2. That day was the beginning of a lifelong learning process. I’ve had friends who have struggled with the question: How can I be sure? I would venture to say that it’s not a matter of knowing that your marriage will be all wine and roses, but knowing that this person is someone you’re going to make the choice to stay with and love and support for the rest of your life. I’ve been married 24+ years, and there are still things I’m learning about my husband. And he’s not the same man I married, so I have to grow and learn and change right along with him. Thank God we’re not the same. How sad would that be, to not have grown and changed after 24 years?

3. Getting to be with my best friend every day is the best thing ever. We can look at each other now and see the gray in our engagement anniversaryhair and the extra pounds which we have to work really hard to keep off. We can look at our 3 kids and know that some day, it will be down to just the 2 of us again (and probably still a multitude of small animals, if he keeps agreeing to me having them) because time keeps marching on. But we still love to do things together. We still have to tell each other we’re sorry and to ask forgiveness. We still have to date and play and laugh together. And we still have to choose every single day to say yes, I’d marry you all over again.

Happy engagement anniversary, Hunny! Thanks for proposing 25 years ago.

You might enjoy previous posts I’ve written on this day last year and the year before.

He asked “Will you?” I answered, “Yes!”

sc0079bb1f The day was June 12, 1990; the place: San Bernardino, Calif. We were anticipating the wedding of a friend a few days later, and then a 7-week separation as David traveled to the former Soviet Union to record several languages of the JESUS film. We had talked about marriage, shopped for rings in an out-of-town mall so no one would see us, and decided to wait until fall and the end of a busy travel schedule. Or so I thought.

But in order to spend a little time together before our separation, we decided to go up to the Arrowhead Springs Hotel, then the headquarters of Campus Crusade for Christ, and enjoy the view and each other. David had arranged to borrow a red-and-white-checked tablecloth from friends, packed a picnic basket with crystal goblets and Martinelli’s sparkling cider, and a book of poetry. As we sat on the back lawn overlooking the city, David, with a bachelor party to attend in a short time, suggested we pray together. We closed our eyes, clasped hands, and prayed for safety in his travels to an unstable part of the world, and for our hearts as we were separated from each other. In the middle of the prayer, David stopped and said, “Hold on a minute, God.” I thought he was getting choked up from the emotion of the moment.

Far from it, apparently. With my eyes still closed, giving him a minute to compose himself, I felt his hand on my chin, lifting my head and encouraging me to open my eyes. He looked into them and said something like, “Will you marry me?”

The rest is just a blur. I think I said “yes” first, and them something about, “I thought we were going to wait,” and then he pulled out the ring and placed it on my finger. Yea!

Now, 23 years later, as I think about what that day meant, I realize that his simple “Will you?” was much more complex than I first thought. By saying yes, I was agreeing that I would be his biggest fan. I would know him better than anybody and allow myself to be known. I would love him best, judge him least. I was agreeing to live 1 Corinthians 13, not keeping a record of wrong, never giving up. sc00863cfeHas it always been easy? No. Has it always been worth it? Unequivocally, yes.

It’s been 23 years, three kids, three miscarriages, two cats, two dogs, numerous fish and crabs, one bird, two apartments, one cross-country move, two houses, one set of parents dying, one set of parents divorcing, his mom moving in, lots of laughter, lots of tears, and always, without fail, a boatload of love and grace and forgiveness.

Happy engagement anniversary, Hunny. I still will.

Thankful today for:

901. history

902. summer break

903. a successful first year of teaching 6th grade

904. the chance to work on Mackinac Island for a few days

905. air travel–even if I don’t like it very much

906. gift cards

907. bike rides

908. family visits

909. possibilities

910. roses

The Day It All Began

We had talked about getting married, but when he actually “popped the question,” I was surprised. I thought we had decided to wait until fall. He didn’t want to leave me wondering while he spent almost two months in the Soviet Union.

I had never had a boyfriend before. At the ripe old age of 28, I was beginning to wonder if it would ever happen. Then I saw him.

It wasn’t love at first sight. He had a beard–I’m not fond of beards. But there was something about his eyes that drew me. He was working in the building next to mine. Soon after I first saw him, he moved in with two of my friends from college. And he shaved his beard. What was handy in the mountains of North Carolina was only irritating in the heat of So. Cal.

We became friends. But that’s all we were. Until it became more. One night after hours of talking, he said to me, “The more time I spend with you, the more I like you.” I’d never had anyone say that to me before. I allowed my heart to hope.

Another day, driving down the highway to pick up something from the office, he grabbed my hand and asked,”What would you think if I did this?” My answer: “I would say that you better not be doing that with any other girl.”

A week, a few weeks, a month (I really can’t remember how long) later, he said, “I don’t want to date anyone but you.”

I had already determined that in my mind long before. Now, it was official. Six months later, on June 12, 1990, he invited me to go up to Arrowhead Springs, the former international headquarters of Campus Crusade for Christ, for a small picnic before he left for the U.S.S.R.

As we sat on the lawn overlooking the smoggy city of San Bernardino, Calif., on a red-checked tablecloth with a book of poetry and a bottle of Martinelli’s sparkling cider, we decided to close our time with a prayer. In the middle of praying, he said, “Hold on a minute, God.” I thought he was getting choked up. Instead, he lifted my chin with his hand. I opened my eyes and looked into his. He had a small black box in his hand. He said something along the lines of, “Will you marry me?” I laughed and said something along the lines of, “Are you serious?” And quickly followed up with something along the lines of, “Yes!”

That was 22 years ago. And I would still say yes today. Even if I knew that everything would stay the same as it has been. It’s not like a do-over. He is God’s gift to me, and I am more than grateful.

Happy engagement anniversary, Hunny! Thanks for asking. 🙂




Thankful today for:

366. My husband

367. Happy memories

368. A sleepover nearly every night for the past 21+ years with my best friend

It’s My Anniversary!

21 years ago, in Oakland, California, I married my best friend. No, really. We were friends before we ever started dating, and I think that’s why we get along so well now. We really, truly, honestly like to be with each other. That’s the way it should be. Happy anniversary, David. You’re the BEST.

This was taken before we were even officially dating. I think it was December of 1989. Either that, or just after we started dating, in January 1990.

This was in April or May of 1990, just before we got engaged (unbeknownst to me). We were in San Francisco.

Our engagement picture, taken at Cru Headquarters in San Bernardino, Calif. August, 1990.