Because I LOVE you!

Ever had a random stranger tell you they love you? I’m not talking about when you step aside in the grocery line so someone with less items can go first. Although, I have heard that. I have said that. 

I mean a stranger that says, “I love you.” And means it. 
Never happened? Really? Well, here you go: From me to you, I love you. 
Like I really do. I mean, not romantically, that’s creepy. I don’t plan to stalk you. But then I never plan my stalkings. *wink wink*
I write because I love it. I do. I feel compelled. But I also write because I love readers. I love you. If you’re not a reader, I still love you but you’ll never know because you’re not reading this. Point is, I do love you. I love you enough to spend hours penning stories that will entertain you, take you on a wild ride, open up doors of mystery, adventure, romance, new places, new foods, and most of all a chance to encourage you with real hope. 
I’m a fan of hope. I’m a fan of Jesus. And I’m a fan of writing broken and flawed people into the people I know God knows they can be. Not every character chooses hope. Not every character chooses change. Every person struggles. With fear. Doubt. Confusion. Helplessness. Bitterness. Rejection. Loss. Finances. Anxiety. (Insert anything here)
So yeah, I do all of this because I love it. And I love you.
And to prove how much I love you, I want to give you something for FREE! A story. You can’t buy it online. You won’t find it in bookstores. 

But you will find it here on my website. 
Simply subscribe to my newsletter and it’s yours (top right hand corner of the website). A Christmas story about fictional characters with real struggles. Real questions. Real doubts. Real fears. They wrestle. They win some. They lose some. And in the end, Hope wins out. 
I’d love to share this Christmas novella with you! After you subscribe, it will immediately come straight to your inbox! 
Here’s a peek:

rowdy bar owner. A widowed pastor’s wife. And Christmas Hope that brings them
After widower Eden
Snow’s church almost burns to the ground, she’s compelled to find a temporary
place to hold services and Christmas cantata practices.
Has-been hockey player,
Knox Everhart, has a reputation for being fast on the ice and with women.
Except Eden. She’s always been a fascinating mystery to him, which is why he
agrees to let her use the back room of his bar—with one rule: No converting his
But when Eden brings
the church to the bar, it offers something the bottle can’t. Hope. And he finds
himself falling in love with a woman and a Savior he feels unworthy to pursue.
 One other thing I’d love to share is my Hope Under Mistetoe story board! Meet the cast, and take a sneak peek around the fictional town. 

Do you like Christmas stories? What’s your favorite holiday and why? 

And to go one step further, if you share the news about the Patched In (newsletter) and the free gift, you’ll be entered to win a $20 Amazon card! Tis the season for shopping, right? 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For Freedom with Katie Ganshert

So glad to have Katie Ganshert with us today! Katie’s newest novel, A Broken Kind of Beautiful, recently released. It’s one of the most touching and yes, beautiful, books I’ve read. Today, she’s sharing a devotion that relates to a spiritual theme in her novel. Thank you, Katie, for being here today.
Also, Katie will be with us on Wednesday for a fun game of Would You Rather? Not only will she answer questions but her hero and heroine will also answer! Friday is our Faith Readers book club review of her novel. Take it, Katie!

It is
for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let
yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:1
If you’ve been in
church world for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard the story of the
prodigal son.
He rebelled against
his father and squandered his inheritance and hit rock bottom before realizing
that his father’s servants were living better lives than he. And so he returned,
hoping to work as one of those servants, knowing he was no longer worthy to be
called a son. Imagine his surprise, the overwhelming gratitude he must have
felt, when his father ran to him and gave him the best clothes and ordered the
servants to prepare a feast. Because this son of his that was once lost, was
now found.
It’s a story the
exemplifies God’s lavish, amazing grace.
But what happens if
we change the ending?
Let’s imagine for a
moment, this same story with a twist.
The father runs out to
greet his son. He offers him his best clothes and a celebration feast. He
offers him sonship. But the son refuses the gift. He declares himself unworthy
and works in the pigsties alongside his father’s servants instead.
It’s ludicrous,
And yet, how often is
this us?
How often do we wear the
shackles of shame and regret, even though those shackles are no longer locked
in place? God offers us forgiveness. He wipes away our sin, as far as the east
is from the west. Are we embracing this gift? Or do we add a yoke to our necks
that He’s no longer asking us to carry?
Jesus came so we
could walk in freedom.
Are you?

Lord Jesus, thank you for the stories
you told when you walked this earth. Thank you for the truth they speak into
our lives. Help us to be children who embrace your grace and forgiveness. Help
us to walk in your freedom, so that we can help others walk in your freedom,

Buy the book!
Sometimes everything you ever learned about yourself is wrong
Fashion is a fickle industry, a frightening fact for twenty-four year old model Ivy Clark. Ten years in and she’s learned a sacred truth—appearance is everything. Nobody cares about her broken past as long as she looks beautiful for the camera. This is the only life Ivy knows—so when it starts to unravel, she’ll do anything to hold on. Even if that means moving to the quaint island town of Greenbrier, South Carolina, to be the new face of her stepmother’s bridal wear line—an irony too rich for words, since Ivy is far from the pure bride in white.

If only her tenuous future didn’t rest in the hands of Davis Knight, her mysterious new photographer. Not only did he walk away from the kind of success Ivy longs for to work maintenance at a local church, he treats her differently than any man ever has. Somehow, Davis sees through the façade she works so hard to maintain. He, along with a cast of other characters, challenges everything Ivy has come to believe about beauty and worth. Is it possible that God sees her—a woman stained and broken by the world—yet wants her still?

Meant to Be Mine


You ever read a book that makes you want to gush and ramble on about how great it was? Yeah, that’s my predicament. I’ve been reading for a long time. And I’m a super-fan of romance. Becky Wade is at the top of my inspirational romance author list. Here’s a peek at her newest contemporary romance, Meant to Be Mine.

Ty Porter has always been irresistible to Celia Park. All through high school–irresistible. When their paths cross again after college–still irresistible. This time, though, Ty seems to feel exactly the same way about Celia. Their whirlwind romance deposits them at a street-corner Las Vegas wedding chapel. 

The next morning they wake to a marriage certificate and a dose of cold reality. Celia’s ready to be Ty’s wife, but Ty’s not ready to be her husband. He’s a professional bull rider, he lives on the road, and he’s long planned to settle down with the hometown girl he’s known since childhood. 
Five and a half years pass. Celia’s buried her dreams so that she can afford to raise her daughter. Ty’s achieved all of his goals. Or thought he had, until he looks again into the eyes of the woman he couldn’t forget and into the face of the child he never knew he had.
How much will Ty sacrifice to win back Celia’s trust and prove to her that their spontaneous marriage can still become the love of a lifetime?

Why is Becky Wade at the top of my list? Because as a reader there are few things I love and Becky packs it all into one story for me.

A setting that feels real.
Small-town Texas. Quirky characters filling it up and great descriptions that plunk me down in the hubbub of it all. Yep. I felt the heat, the smells of the bakery, the hay and sweat. 

Heroes that know how to be a man.
Protective, generous heart, rough around the edges. Not afraid to whip somebody for messing with his girl, or his family. I love it. I love heroes who can provide for the one he loves and is willing to sacrifice anything to do so. I like tough exteriors and gooey insides. I like flawed. I like charm and flirty behavior. And Becky Wade gives me everything I want. 

Heroines who know how to be a woman.
I like strong and yes, stubborn heroines who can take care of themselves but also would like to be pampered and spoiled by the hero even if they won’t admit it at first. I like to see tenderness and some fire. Again, I get a well-crafted and real heroine in this story!

Loads of Romantic Tension
This comes in the form of looks, touches, even knock-down drag outs when they don’t get along (and by knock-down drag out, I mean bickering–never actually hitting one another lol). I love witty, sharp banter that’s laced with serious flirting. Yep, you give me that and I’ll sink down and love you like a loyal puppy. I like lots of “almost” moments. It drives me nuts in a good way. And yep, Becky Wade gives me page after page of this! 

Spiritual truths that naturally develop
When it comes to inspirational fiction, I want to see faith but I want to see it happen naturally as situations come up. Characters won’t always make the right choices or say the right thing at every given moment. And they don’t always spout scripture or even open a Bible. But sometimes, they do. Depending on how the story develops. Becky Wade knows how to do that. It never feels like she’s inserting Christian faith elements simply because it’s her job and she has to find a good place to do it. Nor does it feel like the story is a big platform for her to toot her faith. It’s simply real fictional characters struggling and making every day choices. Sometimes letting their faith guide them and sometimes not. I can relate. 

If I could star it over 5, I would. I’m looking forward to the next story in her Porter family series. And I thank Bethany House for the copy in exchange for an honest review. All of my opinions are well, mine.


What kind of heroes/heroines do you like in a romance?

Looking on Love

You drive me crazy…
but I adore you.

When it comes to romance, the looks say it all. Don’t ya think? Whether it’s in animated film or not. We read romance in facial expressions. Sometimes it’s harder to capture the exact expression in a book, but that’s what we, writers, work to do. 

I know many writers, including myself, that study movies, YouTube clips etc…poring over and over an expression an actor makes that portrays falling in love, admiration, flirtation, longing, desire, angst. 

Here are a few pictures that capture an expression. No words needed (but I’ll probably give you some anyway) to convey what’s going on. 



What do you see in his face? Does he need to tell her
how much she means to him? The hand at the
back of her neck is tender. A soft moment.
Longing. Desire in a non-fifty shades kind of way.



Whether you’re  fan of  Twilight or not,
this facial expression he’s making is killer
 (ha pardon the pun or don’t). This is
intense. Angst. And in context of the movie,
a struggle in self-control on Edward’s part.
Ah! We all love Princess Bride, don’t we?
Westly is about to leave. But this expression, it’s
almost like he’s imprinting his promise to return,
his loyal devotion and love to her. He. Will. Be. Back.
And not Terminator style! 
Here, Westly is back! It’s been forever and
at this moment she knows it’s her farm boy
and not the dread pirate Roberts. This expression
conveys, “I came back. My love, my loyalty, my devotion
has never wavered. And…I missed you.”
Okay, Matthew C. really knows how to express
falling in love. I love the lips on lips smile. It expresses:
You make me happy. Love is fun. Whimsical. And it’s
about to crank up to something so much more.
Yeah, here he is again. Okay,
so they fought. So they had a misunderstanding.
It’s resolved. It’s a quiet expression, isn’t it? Full
of apology. Hope. Even pleading a bit. And longing,
as well as desire. We all know what happens next.
Plus the sweat just adds to it, doesn’t it?
Paul Rudd in Clueless. Cher doesn’t realize he’s
sneaking a peek at her. But check out those eyes.
I want to be with her. She’s so out of my league.
He’s almost willing her to see him, really see him,
with that look. You’re beautiful. And more than the outside.
Again, he’s really looking at her. If she can’t
see how he feels about her in those eyes, in that lopsided
grin, she’s…well….clueless! Right? Right? 
Good gravy, I adore the closed eye hug. This is Elijah
and Hayley from the Originals. This says, you’re safe.
You’re in my arms and I’ll never let anything ever happen
to you.  Flood of relief. You belong to me (in a non-Silence of the Lambs
kind of way). It’s so intense, he has to close his eyes.
A favorite prince for me. What’s this say?
I’m cute. Admit it. And I’m worming my way out of
something. Ariel is smitten with him over his boyish
flirting. It’s effortless to him. 
Check out the same-ish look in Hugh Grant’s expression.
This was Two Week’s Notice. He’s playful. Teasing.
But behind that, look at the admiration, the desire,
the…love he has for her. He’s every bit as smitten
as Eric in the next picture below.
Here she’s working her charm, naive as it is, on him.
Nothing else in the world is going on. Not dinner. Not the world.
Nothing but her. He could stay right here like this forever.
And she’s not even noticing.  
We all love Mr. Darcy! Rain helps set this mood.
Nothing like a hero with we hair matted to his forehead,
dripping down his cheeks. This is I love you but…see the pain.
The agony there. Not like Edward Cullen. Because it’s a
different king of pain a different kind of control.

Something about the trapped expression. His jaw’s set.
Look closely. He’s determined. He knows exacty what he wants
and it’s not slipping away. His hands shield her from it.
Pay attention to her face! She knows it. He’s a wolf (cue Duran Duran)
but not the kind that will devour her in a bad way. In fact, maybe those arms
are there to reveal she’s safe…sort of wink wink…

What hero/movie/book stands out to you as a sigh-moment in relation to romance?  

Guess what?

I had a little shift in my writing direction, which is a good thing, and I’m excited, but it also means I have to take a blogging break for a few weeks to meet a deadline. 

Will you miss me? Say you will! I’ll be around Facebook and Twitter, so catch me there and in the meantime, enjoy this amazing song. This is romance. This. Is. Romance. And I love listening to it during certain scenes. 

Isn’t it wonderful? Sigh. 

Do you have a favorite romantic song? 

Married to a “Homeless” Man

Everyone loves a little romance, yes? I just read an article about a couple who worked at a homeless ministry together. 

They spent weekends handing out free pizza downtown, but on one particular day, a homeless man walked up to the young woman. Long hair, hood, sunglasses, he told her she was kind of cute and then he pulled out a red ring pop and asked her to marry him.

Of course, she grinned and those around them laughed but then he said, “What about now?”

Off came the hood, the mask, the sunglassses, and her boyfriend dropped to his knee and pledged her his heart!

If that doesn’t get the writer plots turning, what does? You have to watch the short little video, as he filmed it from beginning (getting ready) to end–her reaction is priceless and I admit, the romantic in me teared up!

What are some unique proposals you could dream up? If you’re married, how did your husband propose?
Or how could you spin a plot with this story?

Here’s the video/story link and it’s worth the two minutes to watch! 

“Homeless” man proposes to a girl

photocredit: freedigitalphotos/michalMarchol

Would You Rather…? With Melissa, Matthew & Miranda

Monday morning, everyone! I’m totally stoked to have author and dear friend,
Melissa Tagg visiting all week long! If you don’t know, Melissa’s debut novel
recently released, Made to Last. I, personally, loved it. So here’s how this week
is going to roll out:
we’re playing Would You Rather with not just Melissa, but her main characters
from Made to Last, Matthew and Miranda!
Melissa will be sharing the Wednesday devotional. Next week, we’ll continue our
series on humility.
Friday, our local book club, Faith Readers, will share our group review of Made
to Last. So join in all week for some serious fun!
Visit Melissa
get started, shall we?
Would You Rather…?
…walk across hot coals or a
bed of nails (pointing up!) Hey it’s a DIY edition-nails lol
Miranda: Bed of nails,
totally. Because I’ve stepped on enough nails in my life to know I won’t
die…and I can run fast.
Matthew: Whichever one would
impress Miranda more.
Melissa: Nails! Wearing
really thick work boots. Because you totally didn’t specify that I had to be barefoot!
…swim in shark infested
waters or cross a swamp of crocodiles (they fell in the water in the novel, so it’s
Miranda: Swamp of crocodiles!
And I would take a gun. I feel like crocodiles might be easier to shoot than
Matthew: Swamp of
crocodiles…with Miranda and her gun.
Melissa: Swamp of crocodiles…with
Matthew and Miranda and her gun.  And that alligator wrestler I met once
in Florida. Wrestling crocodiles can’t be that much different than alligators,
…fall in love and lose it or
never have fallen in love?
Miranda: At the beginning of
my book I would’ve totally said never fallen in love. By the end, yup, fall in
love and lose it. Because I’ve survived it once…
Matthew: Fall in love and
lose it. Because I feel like that’s the more romantic answer and I’m a cool
enough guy to be able to admit that romance is good.
Melissa: What they said. 🙂
You all crack me up and I think you finagled
yourself out of really answering that last question, Tagg.
What say y’all?
Answer one or all the questions below.
Here are my answers:
Nails. I think there’s an art to it that I could
figure out, and to run on hot coals may require demonic possession and I’m not
into that sort of thing. (Don’t you watch the Discovery channel?)
Sharks. While neither excite me, I think one
chomp and I’m done for. Crocs take you down with that whole death roll thing,
jamming you in a log to tenderize you, or at least, that’s what Crocodile
Dundee says.
I say love and lose it. Memories might be
painful but God would heal them and then it’d be okay to look back and remember
the beautiful moments.


See you Wednesday!
Buy Made to Last!
Here’s a peek!
Miranda Woodruff has it all. At least, that’s
how it looks when she’s starring in her homebuilding television show, From
the Ground Up. So when her network begins to talk about making cuts, she’ll
do anything to boost ratings and save her show–even if it means pretending to
be married to a man who’s definitely not the fiance who ran out on her three
years ago.

When a handsome reporter starts shadowing Miranda’s every move, all his digging
into her personal life brings him a little too close to the truth–and to her.
Can the girl whose entire identity is wrapped up in her on-screen persona
finally find the nerve to set the record straight? And if she does, will the
life she’s built come crashing down just as she’s found a love to last?


The Love Triangle

I admit it, I’m a huge fan of the love triangle. I looked back on my manuscripts–most have a triangle of some sort, which is odd since I’m all about balance. I like things even. 

But triangles have snagged me since Jessica Wakefield and Lila Fowler fought over Bruce Patman. What?! No really. It’s true. In fact, that entire series had one triangle after another. It’s why I adored the Vampire Diaries books (though odd at times) and the show–which is actually better. Thank you, Kevin Williamson. Like seriously. Thank you.

Fairly Legal really picked up when they brought on the oh so wonderful, Ryan Johnson, as Ben Grogan–but then it didn’t get picked up. I’m still ticked over that.

I’m drawn to books, shows, and movies that have a triangle. 

I thought I’d share some of my favorite movie love triangles today.

An Affair to Remember 
 Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, and Richard Denning. There have been several remakes of this movie, which I’ve seen, but I always come back to this one. She falls in love with the playboy (and who doesn’t love Carey Grant), he knows he isn’t good enough for her, and in the wings, a good man loves her and takes care of her after her accident, but her heart has always stayed with the playboy. My favorite story line, I think.


Sweet Home Alabama
Reese Witherspoon, Patrick Dempsey, and Josh Lucas. Torn between a really  nice, rich guy and her ex who’s still in love with her. You root for the husband but you also root for the character, Andrew Hennings. It’s only at the end that he realizes, he’s not in love with her. Up until then, it could go either way. 


My Best Friend’s Wedding
Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, and Cameron Diaz. I rooted for Julia Robert’s character, Julianne, to be with her best bud (played by Dermot Mulroney), Michael but in the end it didn’t happen and I kinda wished Rupert Everett’s character, George, hadn’t been gay because I also liked him and Julianne together. 


I have several other favorites: The Princess Bride, It Happened One Night, Casablanca, Twilight Saga, The Hunger Games, The Notebook…but I can’t list every single one.

What about you? Do you enjoy a good love triangle, why or why not? If so, what is one of your favorites?
photo credit: freedigitalphotos

Real-Life Romance: David and Gabrielle Meyer



  I’m thrilled to have Gabrielle Meyer with me today. Her real-life
romance will conclude our series, for now! I may do another month long series in
the future. We’ll see. Gabrielle is a great lady and a fabulous writer—I’ve
read some of her work. I wouldn’t lie to yah! Thanks for being here, Gabe! And
take it away!

I’m an old-fashioned kind of gal. So it’s no surprise that I
write historical romance, or that I prefer to spend my free time in a museum.
It’s also no surprise that I decided
early on that I would be Sweet Sixteen
and Never Been Kissed
I even had the courage to tell a boy this when
he asked to kiss me when I was fifteen! (Imagine the look on his face.)
The surprise came (at least for me) when I was Sweet Seventeen…and I’d still never been
I was homeschooled from fifth grade through tenth. I loved
this experience, but it gave me little opportunity to find a boyfriend. At the
time, I lamented this fact. But now, after hearing so many horror stories from
friends who had terrible first kisses, I’m happy my options were limited.
I met David Meyer when we were sixteen. I was still being
homeschooled, but I’d become friends with a great group of kids through youth
group. David happened to be among them.
the moment I saw him on stage singing in the production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, I knew he was
something special
…it just took me a little while to convince him
that I was something special, too. Almost a year!
But when he finally decided I was the one for him we’ve
never looked back. I was seventeen when David kissed me for the first time, and
he’s the only person I’ve ever kissed. I like that.
This summer we’ll be celebrating twelve years of marriage,
but we’ve known each other for over sixteen. Through driver license exams, parental
curfews, wisdom teeth extractions, high school graduations, college, first
cars, first jobs and stepping out into the world, we’ve made many memories
together. I wouldn’t want to walk through life with anyone else.
God has
blessed our union in more ways than I can count, but at the very top of the
list are our children.
Eight years ago we had our first child, a
beautiful, imaginative daughter with green eyes and a sprinkle of freckles
across her nose. She was followed two years later by our second daughter, who
charms us with her dimples and blond hair. For five years our life was full of
little girls, but God had an even bigger surprise in store for us.
A set of twin boys! Now three years old, one is gentle and
kind with big blue eyes, while the other is bold and curious, with a mischievous
twinkle in his green eyes. To say we were surprised with twins would be an
understatement! Never, in my wildest dreams, could I have planned such a
perfect family.
Like I said, I’m an old-fashioned kind of gal. I believe my
greatest impact on this earth will be in my home, and I believe the most
important calling is to serve my family. Being a good wife and mother is the
hardest challenge of my life, but it’s also the most rewarding.
Every day, through the good times and the bad, I’m in awe of
the God who has generously given us our hearts’ desires and I pray that our stewardship of all He’s given
us will be a blessing to Him for countless generations who follow.
I’m also tickled pink that my first love became my true love,
and my desire to wait for that first kiss was worth it.
where were you when the one you love kissed you for the first time? I was in a
Connect with 
Gabrielle on facebook too!

Real-Life Romance: Tim & Jess


Imagine a young seventeen year old girl heading off to Bible college after a good long stint of running from Jesus. Naive. Impressionable. Rowdy….selfish.

God had his work cut out for me. He still does. I’m grateful that He’s long-suffering. I walked onto campus ready to do things right after doing things so wrong for so long. Everything was new and fresh. 

And I had all these ideas about who I was going to become and what my life would be like. Much of it meant using my dad’s credit cards and not having to get a job during college days. What? I said I was seventeen. 

I was going as a missions major with a heart for India. I was going to marry a missions major. We would graduate and then we would head for the mission field to work with girls rescued from brothels. Children of my own weren’t even on the radar. 

I’m a planner. 

Planning is great. “A man’s heart plans his ways…” Proverbs 16:9 God never said we couldn’t make plans. The plans I had going on were good. God-glorifying.

However, I needed cash. Dad cut me off! And um…I wasn’t selling plasma. Needles. Not happening. Someone told me about working on my own time (good for a planner like me) telemarketing.

Yes, I was one of those people you hung up on…or told dirty jokes to. I have a whole other post on this. But hey, it was money and it was fun. 

One particular evening a blond-haired guy with smart-looking glasses set down beside me. Big blue eyes. Full lips. Wide smile that sent crater-like dimples into his cheeks. I thought, “A shy, smart guy. Cool.” So much better than the perv on my left. 

I was wrong. He wasn’t shy at all. In fact, without the f-bombs, he could have been a white Eddie Murphy. He leaned over my cubicle and made a witty remark about my phone skills and I don’t know if he had the intuition or was just so competitive himself that it didn’t matter, but he challenged me. 

Love to hear my man sing
and the sleeves rolled up…bonus!
What is it about a man with
his sleeves rolled up?

Um…don’t challenge me! Don’t make bets! I get all crazy-competitive. Ask Susan Tuttle and Julie Jarnagin. 🙂  I won btw…making the most calls without hang ups that night.

He offered to give me a ride back to my dorm, and I found out he attended the same college. I’d never seen him before. But later I found out, he’d seen me. 

I declined his offer. 

The next work night, I accepted. We sat in his truck until curfew laughing and talking. I found out he was an Evangelism major which immediately threw him off the radar. I was marrying a missions major. And I told him that. 

I will never forget that smirk and arrogant twinkle in his eye. “Okay.” His tone? Smug. But I let it go. No point arguing.


Me and my evangelist…in Thailand together
ministering to the children!

And then he asked me out for Valentine’s and again, I reminded him. I was marrying a missions major. “Come on, as friends.”


“Alright. But just as friends. I’m serious.”

Arrogant eye-twinkle. Smug smirk. “Okay.”

When he showed up at my dorm, he had a dozen roses, heart-shaped box of chocolate, and a card. Inside I was giddy. On the outside, I frowned. “I said, as friends. This is a friend date.”

“Well, you don’t know me very well yet. I do this for all my friends.” He grinned, opened the door for me and we drove into Branson and had a steak dinner. It was fun, I had to admit. But I wasn’t marrying an evangelist. And I was going to India. 

That evening on the way back to the dorms, he pulled off a secluded road. I knew exactly what that meant. Oh my good gravy! I am not parking with this evangelist! Ack! I remember freaking out inside. He turned to me and grinned. 

“What are you doing?” I asked, a cautious look in my eye. 


Thai kids take ice cream sandwich literally.
They eat it on bread. Look closely!

He fiddled with the radio. “Hop out.”

“I’m sorry, what?” 

“Get out, Jess. Come on.” He opened his car door.

I thought, “Hey, better than the back seat.”

And that’s when he took me in his arms and we danced. Just a sweet, soft slow dance on the side of a road overlooking a field.

Yep, REO Speedwagon blared I Can’t Fight This Feeling. LOL But it was so romantic and sweet and I think at that moment, my heart slipped away.

The following year, we were married. He wrote me a song and sang it to me on our wedding day. 

No, we’re not in India…yet. But we’ve ministered to so many people as a team, a partnership. I can’t imagine my life with anyone else. We laugh, we act like complete idiots…well, I do! Tim is my best friend.  Here’s an example:

That’s a photo he sent me.
My ruts in the yard backing out!

I’m thankful for the latter half of Proverbs 16:9 “…but the LORD directs his steps.” 

Maybe you’re out there and you’re a planner. Like me. Remember, God has your very best interest at heart. And when He changes your plans, it’s okay. You always get something better than what you thought you ever wanted! I’m living proof. 


What was your first date like? I’d love to hear in the comments! And have you ever been on a missions trip before? Where did you go? How did it change your life?