Saturday, July 28, 2007

How I Met My Knight

I don't remember this, but we met wayyyyyyy back in first grade. We were in the same class and we "liked" each other. I know this because YEARS after we got married, my mom found a box with mementos from my childhood. In this box, was a construction paper that was cut in the a shape of a fish. It was decorated and colored. On the back of the fish, a note was written. "love" and my Knight's first name. In this box was also a Christmas Recital bulletin. Written on this bulletin were the names of all the first grade students. My Knight and I had the same teacher. In our class there were no other students with my Knight's name. He has an uncommon last name. At the end of the year, we moved away to a different part of Miami.

I was a sophomore in 1978-1979. I had signed up for a class. Turned out that the class was over booked. They picked four students from my class and moved them to the new College Vocabulary class. I was one of the four students picked from my class. Turns out that the same thing happened to a blue eyed boy. He was one of the students picked from his class to be moved to the new College Vocabulary class.

Background: I have always felt a little uncomfortable looking at people in the eye. Back then I didn't know why I felt that way, but now I know why. The eyes are a window to your soul. You can see what they feel and think. Being that I was shy and a little bit of an introvert, I didn't want people to "see me". I just wanted to blend in and not stand out.

The first day in my new class, I quickly went in and sat in the first seat I saw available. I noticed that in the row next to me, a couple of seats ahead was a boy who kept slightly turning his head to look at me. He had the most beautiful blue eyes I had ever seen. He'd turn away when I would look and I would turn away when I noticed him looking. That's how it all began... with a glance.

One day after class as I was walking down the hall, I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was "him", the boy with the deep blue eyes. He told me he was a DJ. (* note- more on this later) and wondered if I'd like to go to a party he was going to be working at. I told him, I'd have to ask my parents. He handed me a paper (which I still have), with the address and his phone number. I gave him my phone number too. *note-During his high school years, he was a disc jocky. Which is a little hard to believe, because he was so quiet. It was a little out of character for him to be a DJ, but he loved music.

Background: My dad was very old fashioned. He didn't believe in having boyfriends. You could have friends that were boys, but no "boyfriend". We were allowed to go out with groups of friends ONLY if my mom went along with us.

I asked for permission to attend the party. It was given. The blue eyed boy asked me what time he could pick me up. I told him I'd meet him there. Poor thing, he had no clue what he was getting into. Since I wasn't allowed to go on dates, not only did I show up with my mom, but my sister and three girlfriends came along. Remember, my parents didn't believe in exclusive relationships. The only way I was allowed to go out was in a group and chaperoned. I'm sure he was shocked, but he didn't show it. He was glad I went. Our first dance was a slow dance. The song was, How Deep Is Your Love by The Bee Gees. A couple of weeks later, I invited him to a party my family was invited to. We had a great time. We hung around the same group of friends, but we kept our distance.

At the end of our senior year, the blue eyed boy was having a graduation party, or so I thought. He invited me. I was unable to attend. I ended up being hospitalized. I had been having recurring fainting spells. So they were running tests. Once I got out from the hospital, I called him to say I was sorry I missed his party. His mom answered and told me he had joined the Army. The party was a going away party. My heart sank. I thought I'd never see him again.

A week later on November 4, 1981, I received a letter. It was a letter from the blue eyed boy. He had called his mom to see how they were all doing. His mom mentioned that I had called. When he hung up with her, he called his best friend. He asked him to go to his (the blue eyed boy's) home and look for his yearbook. You see, I had signed his yearbook and had included my phone number and address. I don't know why I put that in there. I hadn't done that for any one else, only his. This letter, was the first of many letters. And so began our courtship. We really got to know each other through our letters. We were able to share our hearts. We felt free to say things that I know that we wouldn't have said if we were face to face. I knew that he was the one for me.

He had a two week leave in December 1981. I met his family for the first time when my mom and I went to greet him at the airport. We all know that there is something about a man in uniform. BUT when I saw my blue eyed boy, walking towards us in his uniform, he took my breath away. He spent most of his time with me and my family. But he made sure he spent time with his family too. During his leave, we went to the movies together for the first time. He took me to see Cinderella. After the movie, we went for a walk on the marina. That's were we kissed for the first time. When his leave was up, it was hard to watch him leave.

He finished basic training in February 1982. He had leave for a couple of days, so he came home to visit. Once again, he spent most of his time with me and my family. But he always made time for his family too. This time when he left, it was even harder. We didn't know when we'd see each other again. I wrote to him every day, sometimes I even wrote to him twice a day. He was able to call me every Saturday. Needless to say, I was always waiting for his call.

One Saturday in April 1982, the man of my dreams had asked me to marry him. I said yes, without even talking to my parents. He didn't want us to wait any longer, would two months (June 1982) be too soon? Looking back, I don't know how it was done. My mom and Abuela planed a wedding for over 500 guest in less than 2 months. I trusted them to plan our wedding. I picked out my dress, my Knight's tux, the bridesmaid dressed, the best man's tux, all the usher's tux's, the flowers, the color scheme, the invitations and the cake. Oh, we had 12 in our wedding party. Everything else, my mom and Abuela did. I was the most stress free bride ever! Well, except for when the priest wouldn't allow us to change our wedding date for the third time. My Knight was having trouble getting his leave accepted. So when we had to have changed for the third time, the priest said that we were treating marriage as if it were a joke. He refused to change it... UNTIL my dad made a "donation" to the church. The time and date was picked... 3:30p on June 19, 1982

Saturday, June 19,82, I woke up to a lot of commotion. I, on the other hand was very calm. I had such a peace... a happy peace. My sister went off to get her nails done. My parents were busy packing up the car and taking last minute things to the reception hall. I was left alone at home to get myself ready. As the time drew near, I was dressed and ready to go, but my dad hadn't even gotten ready. My sister had left with my mom and my brother. I was all dressed up, sitting down and watching Star Trek with the limo driver, while my dad was patiently getting ready. We arrived at the church almost an hour late. The priest had already gone up to the rectory and said he wasn't going to marry us. My dad went up to see him. He made another "donation" to the church. He came down and married us. My Knight and I have joked that my dad had to pay to get me off of his hands.

We had a one day honeymoon at the Fontainebleau in Miami. My Knight had to report back to duty on Monday. So we had to drive from Miami to Louisiana. Our first home was in Ft. Polk, Louisiana. I had never been away from my family. My home was with my family. Now my home was wherever my Knight was. As a young lady of 18 years of age, I thought, "I would follow him where ever he would go." To this day, 25 years later, my place is by his side. I would still follow him no matter where he goes....

A couple of years after we got married my Knight shared something with me. He told me that when I first walked into the classroom, he had leaned over and whispered something to his friend. I asked him what he had whispered. He had told his friend, "That's the girl I'm going to marry."

Be still my heart...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Simply Romantic... Tips

I'm always looking for ways to show my Knight that I love him. I'm not very creative, I'm a "creative wanna-be". I enjoy reading, so I'll read articles, blogs, and subscribe to different sites that send out devotions, stories and tips.

Family Life website has LOTS to offer. I subscribe to most of the subscriptions they have. One of my favorites is Simply Romantic- Tips For Her. Once a week I receive an email with a "tip" on romance. There have been times that I've added a little twist or perked up the tip. Some of the tips are not "romantic" but are loving, helpful tips. I thought I'd share a couple of the "tips" I've gotten from Family Life. After the Family Life tips, I'll share some of my(and his) favorite loving gestures, that I've done for my Knight.

* Present him a "Journal of My Love for You" – a journal that you will fill with dated love letters written to your husband over a period of time.

* Get a picture of you and your husband (and kids if you'd like) and create a special card for him. Include a Scripture that you feel describes him. (For example, Acts 11:24: "For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith.")

* Be a student of your spouse. Know his likes and dislikes, his strengths and weaknesses, and his fears.

* For a significant anniversary--buy him a gold watch. Engrave it with a romantic phrase like “I’ll always have time for you.”

* Think of a couple of things that your honey does for you and the family (he is a good provider, he can fix things, etc.) and let him know how much you appreciate him.

* Men view romance differently from women. Ask your husband to describe what’s romantic to him. Don’t be surprised when his ideas sound very different from yours.

* Wash and vacuum his car. To top it all off--top off his gas tank too.

* The next time you're out to dinner, casually take out a pen and write a note to him on a paper napkin--letting him know what he can look forward to at home. Fold it and slide it across the table.

~ My Knight enjoys reading. Once when he had to go away on a trip, I made a special bookmark for him. I typed up the scripture: Ephesians 6:10-18, The Armor of God. I wrote a brief note: My Dearest Knight, This is my prayer for us while we are apart. Forever yours... Your Lady G~
I printed it out on old English paper and the script was Old English Style. I had the bookmark laminated. After 10 years, he still has this bookmark and still uses it.

~ My Knight sometimes has to travel, either because of work or due to little league umpiring. When he travels, I pack a two sided picture frame that I made for him. On one side there is a picture of him and I. On the other side there is a picture of our five children. That way he has us with him where ever he goes.

~ I leave "love notes" in unexpected places: on his palm pilot, in his brief drawer, inside a pant pocket, in his wallet, on the doorknob (he the first to leave home every day), in his sock drawer etc.

~ I write love messages on the bathroom mirror with my lipstick.

~ I write notes and cards and mail them to his office. He never knows when he's getting one. I have even sent him those HUGE cards. Oh, now Hallmark Cards have cards with sounds. I love sending him those. The problem is now he knows what the envelope looks like, so I have to be creative on how to send them. :o)

~ We take out the trash, so he doesn't have to.

~ We keep the pool chemicals balanced and the pool clean, so he doesn't have to.

~ We try to keep our acres plowed, so he doesn't have to.

~ He loves dark chocolate, so I'll buy him a bag for home and one for work.

~ I make sure he laundry is always done. So he can wear his favorite clothing items.

~ I ask him, "What can I do to help you our?"

~ I massage cream on his hands.

~ I massage his aching back.

~ I send him love notes to his home and office email address.

~ I tell him and show him I love him EVERY day... throughout the day.

I love my Knight. I could go on and on, but I'm being summoned. It's time for dessert.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #21: He Does He Doesn't

The other day I was thinking about the Daisy flowers. They are so pretty. So spring and summery. Then the childhood game of "he loves me, he loves me not" popped into my mind. Hmmm, why not make a TT list with a twist. Here are some, "He Does, He Doesn't" about my Knight.

He does tell me he loves me.
He doesn't hurt me with words.

He does make me feel loved.
He doesn't hurt me with actions.

He does encourage me.
He doesn't focus on my weaknesses.

He does laugh with me.
He doesn't laugh at me.

He does apologize when wrong.
He doesn't have to much, cause he's seldom wrong. LOL!

He does love me for being me.
He doesn't focus on my faults.

He does make me feel the most blessed woman in the world...

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Food For Thought

This morning, I found this quote in my email in box. I had just been thinking about this very thing. It's what I call a God-incidence.

"If couples would put half the effort into marriage that they put into
courtship, they would be surprised how things would brighten up."
-Billy Graham

WOW!!! How very true! Some think, why work at it? We're already married. Au contraire, the journey has just begun. The best is yet to be.

People work hard at their jobs. Some want to climb the corporate ladder. Some work hard for the money. They work hard towards whatever goals they've set for themselves. But when it comes to marriage, some just want to coast.

I don't like to use the word "work", it sounds like, well work. But for lack of a better word, I have to use it. I believe that if you want to have a great marriage, you have to work at it. Courtship is just the beginning. The goal is not just marriage. The goal is a blessed marriage journey. Not that one gives 50% and the other gives 50% to equal 100%. It's giving a 100% of yourself. Our cup should overflow with love and giving to our beloved one.

After 25 years (I love saying that), my Knight still opens and closes the car door for me. When we go somewhere, he opens the door for me and allows me to enter first. When in crowded areas, he leads the way. When standing still in a crowded area, he stands behind me. He carries the heavy items, so I don't have to. He'll surprise me with my favorite chocolate or a pint of my favorite ice cream (just for me). He'll call me up and say, "let's go out tonight". This all sounds so trivial, but that's just the beginning.

My Knight and I "work" at our marriage. We are both working towards the same goal. We want to be the spouse God wants us to be. We want to please Him. By pleasing Him, we can't go wrong. In turn, we end up being the spouse God intends for us to be. We put each other first. It sounds so simplistic and it is. The problem is that "self" gets in the way. We have to daily (hourly, every minute) choose to die to self. In giving our best to our beloved, our beloved will want to give their best too.

Not only do My Knight and I benefit from this giving of each other. Our children benefit too. Others who are watching (without us knowing) can tell the difference too. I'm not trying to be boastful. I'm just sharing my heart. I know that there is no way our marriage would be this blessed if it wasn't because we have God in our lives.

Like everything else in life, it all boils down to choice. I choose to have a blessed marriage. I choose to love (verb) and focus on the positive instead of the negative.

My prayer is that whoever reads this chooses what they know God would want them to choose. Following God's will for our lives is ALWAYS the right choice.