My hubby wanted to write a blog post sometime about me. I have to admit I was a bit nervous turning my keyboard over to him. But I relented and was swept away! One word of caution: He is quite the story teller! Maybe I should have done more editing, but here it is. I hope you enjoy his spin on our relationship. ~Charlaine Martin
So I had been reading my wife’s blog
for quite some time and telling her that I should write an article for it about
‘us’ sometime. You have to understand
that my wife takes things pretty literally.
Ok, I probably did mention it a few too many times, but still, we don’t
even take our President THAT seriously when he says something off the cuff, do
we??!! Ok, forget I said that.
So here it is with the big V-Day looming large on the
calendar and I have a promise to keep, and you would think that it would be
hard for a non-writer guy to write an article on the “L” topic! Actually, the truth is that the hard part is
keeping that article short and concise.
How do you write an article about the woman who is the most wonderful
person in your life? I could write a book!
No! A series! I could fill a library! Ok, for you millennials, that was a building
where they used to keep print outs of text files that were bound in expensive
yet semi-durable binders.There may
still be one in your town if you go looking for it. They are buildings where elderly people go to
read these durabilized hard copies, but I digress. And yes, I do have A.D.D.
And I will admit, if you really want motivation to write an
article about how much you love your spouse, do it the morning after you get
back from a week in Europe with gifts for her from Paris. It is the perfect time to shout it from the
mountaintops! She is still asleep in the
bedroom right now and has no idea I am doing this! I haven’t even unpacked my bags yet!
So you are probably wondering what's our story? Char and I met over the internet. As you can imagine, it is REALLY hard meeting someone on the internet, if you are
looking for a keeper. You can easily
waste a lot of time if you don’t know what you are looking for. But even after deciding what you want, it is
not so easy to find it! I found that
most on the internet are used car salesmen, who are more interested in ‘moving
product’ rather than finding a good match. So I had decided to be as direct as I could be and as honest as I could
be and see what I could find. I went to
all the usual Christian dating sites and found no matches. It kept suggesting that I reduce the number
of search criteria and I would get more matches! But, I was looking for a needle in the
haystack. A rare one. The fact that I was not finding a match made
sense to me. So I continued to search
and pray and wait. One day, I decided to
look on a non-Christian dating site to see if there might be a match on it. I even felt a little guilty doing it, but I
told myself, if you really are looking for a needle in a haystack, the
probability calculations favor larger haystacks and better search engines. Did I mention that I am an engineer?
So I posted my profile, making sure it was very clear that I
was an over-the-top committed Christian and looking for the same in a woman. I was looking for someone who did not think a
great date was just going out to eat at a fancy restaurant and watching a movie,
but was more about doing an activity and actually talking and getting to know
about each other. You know, climbing the
Matterhorn and then having your DNA mapped. Or maybe half way in between?
So after posting my profile, I did the search and WOW! I got a match!! I REALLY did!
I was SO EXCITED!!! I immediately
sent her a note saying that if her profile was true, then we HAVE TO MEET!!! Unfortunately, my response scared her to death. But that was something we finally got
past. So what was it that convinced me
that SHE was the one. Ok, just to be clear,
I was NOT sure she was THE ONE at that point. That would have been creepy. But
more correctly, it would have been making a decision on much too limited data. I needed to increase the data set probably
1000 fold to have enough to make a conclusive decision of this
significance. In short, I needed to date
Now I also have to say that I am a voracious reader. When I am in my element, I will read 1500
pages a week. When I was studying for my
dissertations at Oxford, I pushed that up to 3500 pages (I only need 4 hours of sleep a night). So of course I had read Gary Smally’s book
on the “5 Love Languages” – great book. One of the many ‘take-aways’ from this book was that you needed to date
a person at least 2 years before you could get that rosey tint all worn off those
glasses to where you could see the real person you were ‘besmitten’ by. So I prepared myself for the long haul of
data collection, otherwise known as dating. No, I did not buy a new three ring binder in which to collect all this data and
keep it organized. That would just be weird! I created a new sub-directory on my laptop,
But Char lived in another state! It was 4.5 hours away. I knew if 2 years was going to be enough, I
would need to be spending every weekend and some evenings together. That was clear. So I did the most logical thing I could think
of -- I decided to buy an airplane! Did
I mention that I was a pilot? (Sorry. I promise no more surprises.) So by this point in time, I had driven to see
her about a month and all was going rosy as expected. Now, I have to admit that I had a picture of
what I wanted in a wife and what she would look like. It was very detailed and specific, but many
times, God does not give us what we ‘want’. Instead, God loves us and gives us what we ‘need’. Even though I wanted ‘Y’, God gave me so much
more. He gave me ‘3 times Y’. So much more. Not in size though!
When we first me, I was surprised by Char’s size. No! I
was shocked. Cheated maybe? Char was tiny, I often tell her jokingly that she is not a
real woman – she is a ¾ scale replica of a real woman. She is maybe 4’11” tall. She is tiny. And before you think that Char would be insulted by such a comment, Char
has a HUGE amount of confidence for her size.
That is one of the many many things I love about her. We were walking down a street one time late
at night past some very boisterous guys that had been drinking a little and
could have caused us some problems. Instinctively, I switched my position to walk on the side of Char so
that I would be between her and the guys as we passed them. Almost as soon as I started this move, she countered to put herself between me and
them! Fortunately, nothing happened, but
after we passed, I asked her why she did that.
She said that they looked like they may have wanted to start something,
and she did not know how good my fighting skills were and that she wanted to
have some room to take one of the two out with one quick kick to the chest. Oh, I assume you know by now that Char is a
black belt in karate? I know, I
promised no more surprises, so I hope you already knew this?
But back to the plane. I had been truthful with Char that the drive was getting to me, and that
I really needed to get a plane if we were going to continue to date. She later told me that she had thought this
was some elaborate scheme I had to win her heart and that she thought it was
just talk. So she was a little surprised
when I called her and told her that I had found a plane near her that I wanted
to go check out. She was even more
surprised when I bought it! To me, it
was no different from just buying another car, but apparently, Char read it as,
“This guy really IS interested in me!”
On the other hand, when I heard her reaction, my thought was……“Strange.....Girls.....Weird.” But the important thing was that Char was now
in love with me.
It took me a little longer to fall in love with Char. I was certainly wanting to fall in love, but
I also knew that I did not want to go there until the 2 year mark, but I also
knew that there were some courses we could sign up for that were good at flushing out some issues and
that might allow us to shave off a few months if they did not uncover some
lurking skeletons in someone’s closet. Hey,
she was a black belt! Who knows what she
was capable of if she got mad at me?!?! I was genuinely concerned!
But she was so very caring with people. Everyone I met at her work had so many kind
words to say about her and she always treated my friends with great
respect. She was very kind to the
elderly, to children, and to me!
Finally, I could not help myself. I was in love and trying to stave it off any longer was just
futile. I was a hopeless mess. I needed this woman in my life.
We prayed together, we studied scriptures together, we went
to church together, we sang together, we walked together, we flew together, we
rode our bikes together. Oh! Bikes!
I forgot that one! Char had put
in her profile that she wanted to ride her bike more and wanted a guy who liked
to bike. I love to bike, but had really
given up on finding a woman who enjoyed it as much as I did. When I ride, I ride for speed and distance –
not to sight see, although nice scenery is a plus. I usually ride about 16-19 mph. So I thought I would, “take it easy on her”
on our first bike ride. It was a short
20 mile ride to the beach and back. Unfortunately,
Char does nothing physical without pushing herself to her absolute limit and
then another 15% above that, just for kicks. Jillian Michaels has nothing on this woman! Char is an animal on a bike, and I was not
ready for that! I had a pretty nice
amateur athlete bike and she had her ‘beater’ cross fit bike that was a few
years old, but it was all that my high tech bike and love crazed heart could do
to keep that girl in sight! She showed
I learned much later that Char had been questioned by others
who worked in her gym that they had not expected her to fall for a guy who was
not a super athletic jock. Yes, Char is
the one with six pack abs in the family, not me. But Char was confident in herself. She knew what she was capable of doing. She had decided that it was harder to find a
guy who loved the Lord, and who loved her, and who kept things in that order. She said she was very confident that if she
found a guy who had those two ingredients, that she was a good enough Personal
Trainer that she could build the rest.
It was her version of “BYOB” -- Build Your Own Boyfriend! And
she is a REALLY good trainer! Very subtle. Once, we were upstairs and she complained that she left something in the car and asked
me to go get it. After I went down two
flights of stairs and got it, she said something like, “Oh never mind." I meant the other one. I should have been more specific. I’ll go get it.” At which point I told her, “No. I’ll get it.”
After I returned a second time, she just smileed and went over to a chart she
keeps on the wall and marked me off on the ‘Stair Climb’. Then she sat the heavy box in the corner
and continue doing whatever she was doing before. Seriously!
I have even had a dream that she had me carry my
roto-tiller up the stairs to our bedroom once! She is so good at getting me to exercise and does it in love! I know I have no choice in this. I am in love. What can I say. I actually enjoy
and look forward to working out with my wife.
She also has cleaned up my eating. It is not that I eat junk food, but that she
is very purposeful in what we eat. She
packs what I eat for lunch, and it is always tasty and nutritious. She has a catalog in her head of ingredients of almost everything. This stuff is not
just a hobby of hers. It is her passion
and I have learned that Char is not half-hearted in anything she does. I
enjoy the fact that I do not have to worry about what I eat any more. She does our meal plans, and I just eat and
smileand am thankful for her. But she knows that I love her and I know she loves me.
There is no place either of us would rather
be than with each other. Most of our
evenings are spent on laptops together -- She is usually working on her blog
with her online community and doing her Healthy Lifestyles, and I am usually
doing research on either my work or my airplanes. Char has me completely and hopelessly in
love with her, and I am so thankful to God, in his unfathomable mercy, to have
given me someone like her to spend the rest of my days with. Every day I find myself more in love with her than when we first got married. I look forward to her hug as I come in from work every day. I honestly cannot remember a single time that she has not given me a smile, a hug, and a kiss as I came in the door. She says that it is something she sees as basic and yet as important as doing stretches after lifting weights. How can I not be head over hills??!! I just wish I could find more ways to make her as happy as she makes me. I am constantly searching, but she refuses to be out performed in anything, whether it is bike riding or love. Whew!
This Valentine’s Day, be
thankful to God for what He has given you, but more than that, take that extra
step and present yourselves as living sacrifices to God by showing the same
kind of selfless love to your spouse. Be
purposeful. I am pretty sure you will not
have to carry two boxes of rocks or a roto-tiller up two flights of stairs to
the bedroom! But, go that extra mile and
do something. If you ask God, He will
put on your mind something to do that will be a blessing to your spouse. Embrace that thankless act and do it with
everything you’ve got. As Char would
say, “Straighten your back! You can do this! Go! Go! Go!”
May God bless you this Valentine's Day! ~ Char