"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Psalm 51:10

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Pinching Myself

I remember the first time I set eyes upon my future husband and told my sister-in-law, “All right, set it up.” Admittedly, his good looks were quite appealing. She then talked to his sister-in-law who conversed with said hunky guy who agreed to meet. A chance? I think not. I prefer to believe God orchestrated and opened doors for the two of us to experience the beauty of redeemed love. After all, it had to be God because the picture I sent of me over the internet didn’t exactly portray me as a ravishing beauty. It was the only one I could scrounge up at the time, however.  
We agreed to meet after church the next week. My two kids in tow, all of us (my brother’s family too) found a place to eat and get acquainted. I figured if this guy survived watching my son, Nick, drip catsup all over his mouth, fingers and shirt, he may be a keeper. The next week dragged by slower than congress takes to pass a bill, and by the end of it, I reasoned he wouldn’t call—certain the little buggers had scared him off. Oh well, I thought. Not meant to be.
Hindsight is 20/20 they say. I’ve since discovered that this hunk of mine is as spontaneous and unpredictable as a squirrel darting across the street. Thinking this relationship had started and stopped like a 100 meter dash, I gave up hope. Then—he called to meet for dinner—that night. He had trekked the hour and a half south to his mom’s house assuming I had no plans. No forewarning. No forethought. No midweek phone call. Did I mention that I have kids? Single men without kids can be spontaneous; single moms with kids don’t have the luxury! They plan, prepare and phone babysitters—a week ahead of time. Desperate not to let this opportunity escape, I scrambled and sucked my sister into taking the munchkins. Spontaneity worked this time, but in my opinion, this happy-go-lucky dude had a lot to learn.
Thus began a budding, beautiful relationship between a free-spirited hunk and methodic planner with two children. Fast forward almost a year later and this shoot-from-the-hip businessman arranged an unforgettable night. Several couples planned a dinner out in Seattle culminating with an Amy Grant Christmas concert. My impulsive man would take the ferry over from Bainbridge Island to the restaurant and meet the rest of us. While waiting, my phone rings and he tells me he’s stuck on the other side of the Puget Sound. A bomb threat of all things. He will meet me at the concert. I’m concerned and anxious and feeling desperately awkward eating single at this couples’ night. Time slows to a turtle’s pace. I’m trying to enjoy the company but finding it difficult to concentrate. Where will we meet? What if the stalled ferry prevents him from getting across the water? Worries fill my mind like helium in a balloon.
We walk up to the doors of the event center at the same time, worries a needless waste of time.  We hug, ecstatic to be together. I relax—finally. All is right with my world. Amy Grant’s performance is phenomenal, and my man who narrowly escaped the ferry bomb, sits next to me. During intermission, we pop out of our seats to stretch our legs. Snatched from the jaws of death, Tony leads me to the outer corridor.  It happens. My impetuous, impulsive, impromptu mister pops the question every girl longs to hear. A question that requires thought, intention and sheer guts.
“Annette, will you marry me?”
I pinch myself. It’s real. Tony stands before me, anxiously awaiting my answer. I joke, “I’ll pray about it.”
Mr. Life of the Party remains silent to Miss Perfectionist’s flippant remark, so I quickly blurt out, “Yes, yes, I’ll marry you!”
Eleven and 11/12 years later, I’m still pinching myself!


  1. Ohhh, Annette -- will you marry me?

    I know that YOU know that this is a "Mr. Fly by the Seat of His Pants" flippant remark. I LOVE the account of you and Tony - which I did not know and always wondered. Joyce and I were so glad that however it happened, it happened for you and Tony. Thanks for clueing me in such an engaging account.

    1. It's truly remarkable how it all happened! And, I never get tired of reminiscing about it. God brought me the BEST when he brought Tony into my life...