How We Met: His Story

My story with Ashley started when I moved back into the local area. I began attending FCOG (our church) and knew I needed a deeper level of involvement in the church than just attending Sunday service. I found out about a 20-30’s Bible study group called “House” so I gave my contact information looking for more details not knowing what to expect.

When I received the invite to the group, I remember initially thinking how kind the person behind the words in the email must be. As I read further and reached the end of the email, I saw the name of the woman writing, Ashley, and saw her accompanying profile picture. I thought to myself that I had just seen the most beautiful woman in my life. I didn’t want to get too excited as my main intention in joining this group wasn’t about dating, but challenging and maturing my faith. Plus my heart had been broken several times before and I told myself pictures could be deceiving.

So I remember back to a Wednesday night of December 2016 and being very nervous about the prospect of meeting completely new people. What would they be like? What would they think of me? As I took a deep breath and swallowed hard, I gripped the door handle, twisted, and entered into the home of House. To my relief, I was greeted by very warm and welcoming fellow believers in Christ.

As I made my way to the gathering spot and looked across the room, there wrapped in a blanket was Ashley. At that moment I realized I was completely unprepared for this encounter and the way I already felt toward her. As our eyes met, she said, “Hi” and smiled. With a dry mouth and clammy hands, I returned a shy hello and sat on the couch adjacent her. As I sat there, I remember thinking how beautiful her blue eyes were and that she was even more adorable in person. Throughout the night it was hard not to seem like a creeper as I couldn’t help myself from stealing glances in her direction.

Over the next few months we came to know each other better while interacting through the House group. And I came to realize that she wasn’t only extremely beautiful, but that I admired how smart and strong she was in her faith and relationship with the Lord as well.

As some things in our lives shifted for the better, we were better able to pursue one another. I wasn’t sure exactly where she stood with our relationship however, until she asked if I wanted to join her at the Lane Auto Show. I was genuinely wondering if I had died and gone to heaven! My only response was to nearly yell, “Yes!” due to my extreme excitement.

If this wasn’t enough, Ashley also offered to come and pick me up for church that same weekend in her parents’ 2014 Chevy Corvette. By then, it all started making sense, and she had figured out the way to my heart: through four wheels and engines.

When she dropped me back home after church that Sunday, I asked if she would be willing to go out on a date together, just the two of us to get to know each other. I had never been so nervous to ask a question in my life! To my relief, she actually said she would love to go on an actual date.

I felt like I could do back flips, and that my heart had just been jump-started.

A couple of hours later I was in the middle of mowing the grass when I received a phone call. It was Ashley asking if I was busy that evening to take me up on that date. I suggested we go hiking at Grand Mere. Without missing a beat, she said that sounded perfect, and next I knew we were at the dunes, hiking up and down the steep sand hills. Being a part of God’s great creation never ceases to put me at ease and center my soul.

Being with Ashley has made me realize that she is the most beautiful creation in my life. I knew that she was so special to me that day, and we continued to grow closer on a new level and establish our core values, goals, and beliefs together. I knew she was my perfect match, made for me, and my heart was drawn to her and hers to mine.

Considering my life and where I wanted to go, I knew I wanted Ashley by my side. I was not going to let this blessing from God slip through my hands. So, making a commitment to be her man forever and always, I got down on one knee on the North Pier on September 19, and asked Ashley to be my wife. She said yes and accepted my offer, without any doubt.

I will forever be grateful to God and thank Him daily for bringing us together. This is no longer my story, but the beginning of OUR story…

I will forever and always love you, Ash.

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10 Rules of Christian Dating and Why He’s Not “The One”

I’m a Christian, in case that hasn’t been clearly stated yet, friends. I’m a Christian who values her faith and Lord above all things, but I am also human. I ache to love and be loved in return by those I can physically embrace. I’m beside all the people in the world looking for a place to belong, a group to belong to, and a person to make my life better. So when it comes to dating and looking towards the future, my thoughts are a jumble of what I need, who I like, and how the two can intertwine into respect for my faith. I’m not the type of girl to believe there is only “One” person out there for me. I believe there are many people who fit the bill and who are compatible with my beliefs. This fact makes dating even more difficult though… or does it?

A friend of mine posted this article on Facebook a few days ago and the first time I read it through I was like, “Yeah. He is so right. This is what I feel.” I mean it, the entire article speaks so perfectly on my beliefs and morals and faith it’s almost spooky. It is a discussion on society’s views for dating, a personal view of dating, and God’s call for dating. Considering these 10 rules might just make things a little bit easier for those needing the strength and guidance. So for those of my readers who are Christians, I urge you to read through this article. I know it has some length, but Frank’s words are true, justified, and right on point.

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The Hardest Decision

One of the hardest decisions you will ever face in life is choosing whether to try harder or walk away.

Have you ever realized there is only one choice that we make in every moment of Life? The choice to try harder or walk away. From loving ourselves, loving another person, pursuing a passion, succeeding at work, or simply being present, we choose to continue thinking, doing, eating, saying, and being what we are or else we break up with it. There is only one way to do everything, and that is completely or not at all.

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Guest Post: Hillary on “Why I Don’t Do Online Dating”

I am both excited and honored to have Peonies ‘n Mint’s first guest post be from the ever-wonderful Hillary at an oklahoma girl. Hillary and I were discussing her love life recently (because we’re at that level of blogosphere friendship) and she was recanting the demise of online dating in her life. From someone who has posted about online dating and dating apps in the past, I asked if she’d be willing to share her story on PNM for all of you to enjoy. She was more than happy to oblige!

We all have our own dating horror stories. Perhaps they are not through the Internet or apps, but they’re creepy nonetheless. So don’t get down when your love life seems to be one devastating date after the other. Take it from Hillary — we’ve all been there!

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Let Other People Happen

When contemplating what you want in life, it’s interesting to consider that you don’t necessarily always want your life to be better, but rather different. I came upon this article once upon a time and finally see what the author meant by this perspective. One path in life does not always mean it is the best one, just different from another. And to one person this may or may not be good thing. However, one thing I’ve learned for sure: different is always good. You either succeed in the end or learn from the experience; both are wins in my book.


Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

There are few things worse than not living up to the expectations you put on yourself. I understand the strain of obligations and pressures piled on by friends and family, but frankly the only ones that end up mattering are those accepted as your ‘own problems.’

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13 Men You Meet on a First Date

I’ve had my fair share of first dates, but not many have progressed past Numero Uno. Most of the time there just isn’t that connection, other times there are factors such as distance, timing, interest differences, etc. We’ve all experienced different people, and know there’s a lot to be gained from the initial dating experience. First impressions really are everything!

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Don’t Fall for Him and Other Useless Advice I Give Myself

Have you ever liked someone but the timing is off? How many times do you give yourself advice and not listen? For me, countless times, and the greatest advice I give myself which I ignore is not to fall for someone. Don’t take down my walls. Don’t let anyone in. Don’t allow anyone else to make me happy other than myself. Don’t, don’t, don’t. Well, this time I’ve nailed the head on all bad advice and fallen for a man at the wrong time. And this morning, as I consider what to write in this post, I’m reminded how useless my little conscience can be once again.

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5 Reasons Life is Better Without Your Ex

The county fair was last week and, as is the usual tendency at the fair, my friends and I ate unhealthily while we walked aimlessly around and ran into old classmates and colleagues. One of the groups we happened to run into contained a kid from my high school who was also once one of my campers. (He’s now a sophomore in college! Oh, how quickly he grew up!) As we did our quick five-minute catch-up, he asked me how Army was doing. I was a bit surprised he hadn’t heard of our break up being that it was over three months ago, but I gave my well-rehearsed, polite response, “Actually we aren’t together anymore, so I’m not entirely sure.” To which he gave me the mixed look of sadness and sympathy accustomed to those transitioning through a break up. Then he proceeded to pat me on the back and tell me that I will find someone new and I will get over the heartbreak.

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Online Dating Has Turned Us Into Unicorn Hunters

An article shared in my Reader caught my eye today, and upon closer examination I felt it worthy of being reblogged on Peonies ‘n Mint. I’ll discuss the topic later this month, but as a preliminary notice: I joined Match.com over two weeks ago and met a certain someone who has been extremely kind and sincere in our conversations to one another. Tonight marks our first face-to-face meeting and though I am actually quite giddy about the date, I am also nervous. This article gives an on-point description for my hesitation…


 

Originally Posted on The Good Men Project:

online-dating

There has been a lot written recently about the challenges of online dating and the switch to much more of a “hook-up” culture. While it definitely exists and this topic gets most of the attention, that has not been my experience. So one of two things must be true … I’m doing it wrong … or there is still reason to be optimistic about meeting people online.

The problem with online dating isn’t that it created a hookup culture. The problem is it has made us all unicorn hunters.

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