Our Love Story- Ring Connection

When I started this blog 5 years ago, I wanted to include a category titled Ring Connection. Nothing encouraged me more as a single than to hear how God brought people together in marriage! What did it look like? How was this one so different than others they had dated? How did God speak to each of them that they knew this time it was special and could last? 

The next two weeks you will read our story in two parts. Yes, no longer ringless, God brought my husby (the blend of husband and hubby)  in His perfect time. Our hope is you be encouraged. God answers prayer usually outside of our time frame and beyond our understanding.        


The Friendship  spawned in 2008. Steve became Dee’s audiobook engineer for Lord of the Ringless. It was comfortable from the beginning. She lived a single active life surrounded by nephews. Steve had married at 20, for twenty-plus years and raised three sons.

Their Awakening  began in September 2011 when Steve was the only one of 10 invitees to show at the Auburn open- air Strauss symphony. Dee discovered the man with 7 guitars, enjoyed classical music. In late October after the Lord of the Rings Munich Symphony they discovered a mutual love of sports too, in particular, basketball and football.

Steve’s  SPARK  ignited in December attending an Inspired Writer’s Christmas party together. “I had one of those brief moments where Denise was the only person in the room- an Oh no, I’m think I’m falling in love moment.” Steve feared losing the friendship—but risked sharing his feelings Dec 30th. Unsure, of her feelings but enjoying the friendship, Dee suggested they continue doing things together and readdress the relationship later.

Denise’s April shower moment came on a book tour. At a Washington state rest stop, I opened my moonroof and gentle rain fell just as Steve’s eyelashes brushed my cheek—my first butterfly kiss. Wondrously, the verse from my morning quiet time with God danced in my head,

“The seed will grow well, the vine will yield it’s fruit…and the heavens will drop their dew.” Zechariah 8:12

DEWDROPS  have taken on a new meaning for Steve and Dee . They are gifts God drops from heaven to show His blessings and provision in seasons of sunshine and rain. Trusting God, believing Him for His promises remains significant, especially during this time of spotty employment for Steve.

And HUMOR . When Steve broke his clavicle, he became Bam Bam because he bounced twice on the concrete floor. Dee became Pebbles, his sidekick with the topknot. Words of affirmation lighten our daily adventure. Dee is POB , Princess of Buckingham and Steven, POW , the Prince of Wales, reflecting their English heritage. (Her “all” will transition to his “ell”)

Steve’s planned PROPOSAL unfolded a Dewdrop Saturday. He posed the M question on bended knees on the Pacific CrestTrail during a 10 minute interlude from a spring blizzard. God cleared the white out long enough to display gorgeous Sierra Crested white tops, sky blue Donner Lake and open heavens. Then the snow fell again—and a brilliant rainbow appeared. “The future is as bright as the promises of God,” Steve recited. Miracle Week followed…

( to be continued next Friday)

Love in the Ordinary Day

My brother called and left a message on my phone recently. He loves to leave me encouragements. This time he said, “My friend is a housekeeper who does work for married couple. She said the woman married her first time at 75 to someone who had been married before. He was 82."

 

Then I happened to read the Dayspring Devotions blog of love stories for Valentines Day. Since we are still around the corner from this auspicious occasion, I am posting one for all the young at heart.

“I was not so young anymore and I had lost hope to find a good wife. I had said to God that I am tired to find a girl myself so He can help if He likes.

I went to the bible study group as usual. It was quite big group, often like 30 people. That evening God pointed one beautiful girl and said "You are walking home with her!". I must confess that I said to God that no way. It was very cold night and I hoped to have a lift in someone’s car. But it was the Voice of God and we walked home together.

After that we walked often together and at the end of that year we walked together to the altar of an old church. We are still in love with each other. At the end of December we had our silver anniversary.”

http://blog.dayspring.com/2010/02/the-rest-of-your-story-28.html

 

 

Knight on a Shining Black Motorcycle

 Three years ago, I wrote a devotional story, "Sands of Time", for my book Lord of the Ringless after a phone call from a dear friend of thirty years:

 

            "The last of her high school girlfriends was getting married, leaving Gabriella to wonder why she was still single.

“Gabriella said maybe if she hadn’t gone away to college she would be getting married too,” her mother, my close friend gently told me, quite possibly remembering she was the first of our group to marry. I am still single and still…the last.

            “This is the first wave of weddings,” I explained to her, “and depending on when she gets married there could be two, three or many more waves to come.  Either way, at some point she will discover that location does not make a difference.” My tone softened. “It’s all in God’s hands.”

 

            My friend married at nineteen and is still married at fifty. She never experienced feeling left-out from fulfilling the divine desire for marriage or the frustration and anxiety her daughter is already learning to cope with. How Gabriella processes the inevitable questions that arise when it seems others desires are met, and hers remain just beyond her reach, will affect her closeness to God. Learning to trust God’s faithfulness, even in her disappointment, will determine the quality and fullness of her life." 

 

Yesterday, my friend, who is now a wedding florist –is helping her daughter Gabriella—plan her October wedding. Tears rose to her eyes when I opened the page to this chapter in the book and we recalled the passing of another season of life.

 

 Two years after I chronicled  her story, Gabriella was in another wedding party. This time she waited and prayed with the rest of the wedding party for the safe arrival of one of their groomsmen.  He had endured some obstacles and detours attempting to drive cross country from the East Coast on his motorcycle—in time for his best friend’s wedding. She admired his perseverence and loyalty to his friend.

 

That day as she waited with the others, little did she know– he was to be her knight on a shining black motorcycle.

 

 

(Lord of the Ringless can be ordered by simply clicking the purchase button on this blogsite or visit deeaspin.com )

African- American Courtship- pt 2

Last week we learned Suzy had accepted a choker from an African immigrant to America for a one year trial period.

 

Suzy had not dated anyone for two years since the break-up with her other boyfriend, the one she dated five years. She was enjoying her work and single life.

I asked what caused that break-up.

“So many little things.  Breaking up with him I prayed to the Lord, ‘Lord if you don’t want me with him, don’t let me hear from him again.’

I never heard from him after we broke up.

Suzy dated a man five years before she met Ari, the man who asked her to consider him seriously after his first meeting with her. He was her brother’s friend who lived in California, and had only come home to Africa for a visit. They began writing until she accepted his invitation to visit him in the States…

Suzy told the Lord if Ari sent her a ticket and she could get a Visa she would visit.  It was very hard to get a Visa at the time.

But, the first person she visited at the embassy said, “You have the same birthday I do. Sit down. I’ll help you get a passport.” He returned with a six month Visa.

People asked me, “How did I get it?”

I said, “I told the Lord. He got the Visa and Ari sent the ticket.”

“I never heard from my first boyfriend after we broke up.  I didn’t see him again until I was at the airport going to the states to visit my future husband. He was sad when he found out where I was going.  I told him, ‘You had your chance.’

He said he knew he would have had to change.

 “I knew I couldn’t change him–there were too many things….”

Suzy left for America in December. She arrived at the airport in LA Exec on Christmas Eve, December 1979.  She stayed 3 months with a sister who lived near Ari and visited him. 

I asked him again, still incredulous, ‘What did you see about me?’

“It was something about you,” Ari said. “I didn’t know. I felt something about you was for me. Something different from your other single sisters.”

Suzi returned home and continued to write letters before planning their wedding. She joined him in California where they had the joy of bearing and raising children. Today they continue strong in a relationship that kindled a lifelong fire decades ago.

 

 It's clear as she tells her story, it still leaves a sense of wonder to her, even after all these years. She knows God was in it.

African – American courtship pt 1

Recently I spoke to a fascinating woman who has been married thirty years to a man she met in her native Kenya.

She was from a family of fourteen girls and ten boys. She attended boarding school as all the children from her village where her dad was a physician. She excelled in sports and academics. She graduated and worked in the city for the government.

              

Initially, Suzy dated  one of her brother’s friends for 5 years. She broke up one day, when after a talk, he never returned to clarify the direction of their relationship.

Soon after another friend of her brother’s, Ari, returned home from the United States on vacation. He dropped by her family home to visit her brother and met all of her other sisters. All but Suzy.  Her family spoke highly of her. He became curious and wanted to meet her.

Suzy’s brother agreed to take him to the city and meet her. He waited. Her brother pointed her out as she approached. “He saw me coming…. And immediately wanted to marry me.”  We all visited and he knew that day. He told me. It scared me. I thought it was really strange.

Ari said, “I was supposed to come home for vacation, not to look for a wife.”

“I want to visit you here. Pray about it. If you like me, I would like us to write letters when I return to America in a week- then when you have vacation I would like to pay for your airfare to come visit me. I’ll send you a ticket.”

Then, he gave me a choker and asked me to wear it for one year. ‘If you don’t want to marry me in a year, let me go.”

He met all my sisters, all but me. Then when he saw me he wanted to marry me.

Suzy, still suspicious, spoke to her mom, “He met me once and wants to marry me- it’s too strange.”

Her mom said, “Go with your gut feeling—if it feels right.”

“ My mom knew his mom-she knew his family and upbringing.”

Suzy had not dated anyone for two years since the break-up with her other boyfriend, the one she dated five years. She was enjoying her work and single life.                                                                                                                                                                                        To be continued next week

God Heals the Broken-Hearted…with Mr. Right

Part 2   (continued from last Friday)  Christa and Chad met years before the time to forge a friendship. His best friend was Christa’s boss. Chad began praying every day hoping to connect with Christa, before his opportunity. They were both in the same wedding.

“The day of the wedding, he came up and chatted with me. Soon he started hanging out with mutual friends and outings even after the wedding. Occasionally he would ask me to do things alone. When the wedding finally came around, I was still as clueless as ever. We chatted a bit and started hanging out with our mutual friends and then a bit with just each other.

Being the overly anxious person I was with dating, I made sure that one evening after a one-on-one errand to Ikea, I clarify things. I talked to him hoping he was not taking my friendliness as flirtatiousness. His response still marks me. He was completely forthright and honest. He told me that I was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen or known, that he prays for me, thinks about me all day and that he would be lying to say he wasn't hoping our friendship would flourish into something more.

 

 

 So I did what any girl would do, I professionally thanked him for his honesty got in my car and ran home. As soon as I got onto the next street my 'perfectly put together' demeanor melted and I was talking to my self out loud through my confusion and surprise. I had never had anyone be so blatantly honest with me on a sensitive matter.

We talked later about it. I was not interested at that time in Chad at all, but we remained good friends. It is now a joke between the two of us, because I was adamant on never dating him and he was adamant that we would end up together and we were both sure that God was speaking to us.

 

 

It took Chad almost an entire year of being around me 3-4 days a week to crack through my armor and barriers. I saw his continuous nature and character and his steadfast, unwavering love for me.


I started having feelings for him and I waited on those for a month to be sure I really liked him. He was not someone I could jump into dating and change my mind after a month. Finally, I knew for sure that I wanted to be with him. I said to him, if he hadn't given up on me yet, I would like to give it a shot. At that time I knew it was not just me saying, ‘I want to date you ’  it was me saying, ‘I can marry you.’

When we started dating it had been 10 years since Chad had dated anyone and pretty much 8 years for me. I had walked through doubt and deception of my worth through that time. I think every girl does. The thoughts of: 'Am I too skinny or too fat, too pretty, too ugly, too loud or too reserved?’  …the list went on. I wondered why there was no interest in me if I was as wonderful and cute as my dad said I was.

 

 

 By the time Chad and I met, I was content and thought I would be single for life. God was so faithful in bringing me through my teenage pain and using it to keep me for Chad. He knew that it would take the right man of God to find me and have the persistence and love to wait and stay until I came around.

Chad is by far the best blessing in my life. He exceeds the dreams I had about my husband and makes me wonderfully grateful everyday that I didn't settle and that I was as picky as I was.”

 

 

Thank you Christa for your sharing your moving story.

 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”    Psalm 34:18

African- American Courtship- pt 1

Recently I spoke to a fascinating woman who has been married thirty years to a man she met in her native Kenya.

She was from a family of fourteen girls and ten boys. She attended boarding school as all the children from her village where her dad was a physician. She excelled in sports and academics. She graduated and worked in the city for the government.

              

Initially, Suzy dated  one of her brother’s friends for 5 years. She broke up one day, when after a talk, he never returned to clarify the direction of their relationship.

Soon after another friend of her brother’s, Ari, returned home from the United States on vacation. He dropped by her family home to visit her brother and met all of her other sisters. All but Suzy.  Her family spoke highly of her. He became curious and wanted to meet her.

Suzy’s brother agreed to take him to the city and meet her. He waited. Her brother pointed her out as she approached. “He saw me coming…. And immediately wanted to marry me.”  We all visited and he knew that day. He told me. It scared me. I thought it was really strange.

Ari said, “I was supposed to come home for vacation, not to look for a wife.”

“I want to visit you here. Pray about it. If you like me, I would like us to write letters when I return to America in a week- then when you have vacation I would like to pay for your airfare to come visit me. I’ll send you a ticket.”

Then, he gave me a choker and asked me to wear it for one year. ‘If you don’t want to marry me in a year, let me go.”

"He met all my sisters, all but me. Then when he saw me he wanted to marry me!" Suzy marvelled.

Suzy, still suspicious, spoke to her mom, “He met me once and wants to marry me- it’s too strange.”

Her mom said, “Go with your gut feeling—if it feels right.”

“ My mom knew his mom-she knew his family and upbringing,” Suzy explained.

Suzy had not dated anyone for two years since the break-up with her other boyfriend, the one she dated five years. She was enjoying her work and single life.

                                                                                to be continued next week

Beyond Dating’s Ember

“My first encounter with the woes of dating hit me hard. I was a typical teenage girl like many in the malls today. I wore clothes any parent would complain about  and  had a mouth that wreaked of harsh words—my  undertone fired  “I got it figured out.”  Then I met Ben and dated him for 9 months.  Nine months was a long time to date at that age. I was sure we were going to get married and that he would be a famous musician and I would be an actress. But, we broke up.

 

 I can laugh about it now, but at the time I was totally devastated. That event changed my perception in so many ways. One of the major changes in my life, was my disinterest in dating. I could not find the point in trying guys out unless I saw the true prospect of marriage. My mom and friends used to always say, "Just go on a date! It is nothing serious. You are too picky." In my heart  however, it was not just a date, it was an opportunity to be disappointed and experience some intense awkwardness.

I moved out to California from Canada when I was 20 and stayed with a family while going through a ministry training program. Chad had been through the same program years earlier . At the time I met him, he was managing Serrano Country Club. The wife of the family I was staying with worked there—he was her supervisor. She would talk highly of him, of how lucky she was to have such a good manager. She distinctly said, "Anyone who ends up marrying Chad wins."

 

 I met him just briefly when we went to pick up her check one afternoon. I stayed in the truck and he simply came to the window to say hi to his employee. We, in turn were introduced, cordially said hello, and then good bye.

Three years later, I began working at Capital Christian Center. My boss turned out to be Chad's best friend and roommate. In addition, my good friend was getting married in August and his good friend was marrying her. We both were to be in their wedding. Months before the wedding, I know now, that Sam and Briana were talking to Chad about pursuing me. Something clicked in him and he remembered meeting me years earlier.

 

He started praying for me every day, asking God to orchestrate a way for us to connect or talk.

 

The months rolled on and the wedding finally arrived. I was still as clueless as ever.”

 

Next week we will pick up on the rest of Christa’s story…

Not a Date in A Decade Pays Off part 2

 

Jodie and Aaron's Ring Connection

The Rest of the Story… Continued from last Thursday…

I met Jodie in 2005 at the Sunday Morning meeting of Bayside Singles called “Common Ground”. She would tell you that I was large and loud. A friend of hers had a crush on me, but I was focused on my self-growth process. I talked with Jodie casually several times for about a year – she and I could relate on a number of levels because we had some common struggles. At the time in 2005 – I was in transition, losing weight and becoming comfortable in my own skin.

 In May of 2006, I got invited to Jodie’s Birthday party but was waylaid by obligations. Without realizing that I was setting a foundation for dating Jodie – I suggested that I would buy her lunch sometime in the future for her Birthday.

 That time came in June of 2006. We talked occasionally in Common Ground and had decided to work out together. One of the times, we went out to a place afterward for a quick bite and I noticed that she and I seemed to be communicating on the same level.

 July 4th, 2006 would be our first official “date”. We went to a 4th party at a friend’s house and I noticed that Jodie was ‘inspecting’ me. That was the first clue to this dense guy that… “hmmm, I think she likes me…”

 Soon after that, our conversations deepened and became more intense. The fact that we shared many similar experiences was incredible. Jodie was also quite forgiving of my bumbling, because I was honest with her that even at 35 years old, I had never had a real, serious relationship.

 We fell in love quickly. There was really no drama – I knew I had been smitten when more than 50% of my thoughts were about Jodie. I had never felt this way before about anything or anyone. It was actually that simple – once I knew that I was in love, I told Jodie that I was in Love with her during a date.

When I saw tears well up in her eyes – I knew my single days were over.  The next morning, I went on-line and bought Jodie a one-of-a-kind Amythest ring (her favorite color is purple). As soon as it arrived, I proposed to her.

 It was August 22nd, 2006. We decided to get legally married on October 20th 2006. Our courtship lasted 14 weeks.

We have dealt with our share of issues in our marriage – 100% of which relate directly to both of our pasts.

I can tell you as surely as I write this that our communication has been the key to taking each challenge and turning it into another building block of strength in our marriage. For the same reason that we fell in love so fast, our love gets deeper.

 Jodie and I do not fight for supremacy in our relationship – we surrender our need to be right daily. As a result of the previous and a commitment to pray and study the Bible together, our marriage has deeply enriched our lives and has met each of our needs at the most powerful level.

 Thanks again for the opportunity to share our story.

 

Aaron F. Park, President

Park Family Insurance and Financial Services, Inc.

801 Riverside Ave #100 Roseville, CA 95678

Not a Date in a Decade Pays Off

Aaron and Jodie’s Story

I met Aaron and Jodie last week over a dinner gathering. In minutes I knew there was a special closeness they share not all married couples do. I asked if they would share their story with us after Aaron commented it was a first for both in their mid -thirties. This is their story as written by Aaron. It brought tears to my eyes. You will see God’s handwriting in the chapters of their lives…

  "I had not dated in ten years by choice prior to meeting Jodie. I had attended Bayside Church for nine years at the time and I was active in the singles ministry at the Church.

Ten years prior I endured a painful break-up that left a deep scar. I determined then, that I was going to date for a wife, not for any other reason. In addition, I struggled with alcohol and obesity for much of my adult life – both issues related to that break-up.

Once I moved to Roseville and started attending Bayside—a series of events occurred. I quit drinking completely after five years at Bayside. Then about two years later I started a diet and exercise routine that completely changed my health and body.

While losing all the weight, I had determined to take responsibility for myself and become that right person for someone else – instead of looking for the right person. During that time, I stuck to my guns and did not date. It was a wise decision.  I was able to concentrate on myself and not get distracted by relationships and break-ups as so many of my friends in the single's group did.

My life changed so radically, as a result. To put it in a nutshell – I walked through years of fear. God healed my self-esteem and brought my real personality out that had been buried for years under walls. It took about 4 years for the process to work itself out. Once I had decided that I was tired of being stuck in my rut and that I wanted my life to change, the next step was to sell out completely To God. That is what carried me through painful workouts, AA meetings, Bible Studies and social situations that used to freak me out. God honored that decision.

 I met Jodie in 2005 at the Sunday Morning meeting of Bayside Singles called “Common Ground”. She would tell you that I was large and loud. A friend of hers had a crush on me, but I was focused on my self-growth process. I talked with Jodie casually several times for about a year – she and I could relate on a number of levels because we had some common struggles. At the time in 2005 – I was in transition, losing weight and becoming comfortable in my own skin.

 In May of 2006, I got invited to Jodie’s Birthday party but was waylaid by obligations. Without realizing that I was setting a foundation for dating Jodie – I suggested that I would buy her lunch sometime in the future for her Birthday.  (pt 2 next Friday)