1,000 Ways to Win Her Heart {An Uncommon Love: Chapter 7}

An Uncommon Love - 10000 Ways to Win Her Heart

“This is so good. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. Like a good romance novel, only this tale is true.” ~ Darlene Schacht of Time-Warp Wife.

(*Here’s Chapter 7 of An Uncommon Love – our true-life love story. If you’re new here, you can catch up with Chapt. OneChapt. Two, Chapt.Three, Chapt. Four, Chapt.Five, and Chapt. Six.)  

So now you know about the phonecall.

And what he said to his good friend, Greg.

I mean, about declaring that he’d met the woman he was going to marry and all that.

So Greg knows.

And you know.

But you realize that there’s still someone who didn’t know….

Um, yes, that would be me. I was still left wondering.

He loves me…he loves me not. He loves me…

He loves me not . . . ?

Two female friends meeting for a coffee

The Clock is Ticking

I wouldn’t want to put unnecessary pressure on the guy, but we only had 8 days, remember?

We met on Friday night. Did absolutely nothing on Saturday and Sunday.

Went to dinner together on Monday night.

Now we were already on Tuesday.

And I was flying back down to L.A. on Friday. Our clock was ticking. Ticking loudly as far as I was concerned.

On Tuesday morning I went out for coffee with a close friend of mine. We had both been single at Seminary, but she was married now and I had been a bridesmaid in her wedding (which should come as no surprise).

So we ordered our grande lattes at Starbucks down Hawthorne Street and I told her all about it.

About him, actually.

She let me gush on and on. About how I’d met him at the dinner party and how I believed that he was the man I’d marry. And how we’d been to dinner the night before. And how he’d asked me to accompany him to some isolated island off the coast of Canada.

She suspected that I might be in love. Imagine!

Then I tried to describe him to her. How charming and godly and interesting and funny and, well, good-looking I found him.

I searched for all the words.

But then I looked up and realized that all I needed to do was point to him. Because, sure enough, there he was. Right in front of us.

No, really. I’m not making this up.

We sat at  a table looking out on the street and there he was slowly driving past us. The very man!

What was he doing there? And why was he roaming the Hawthorne District?

He couldn’t have possibly have known that I would be there too. And, yet, what would bring us both to this same quaint spot in this small corner of Portland?

A mystery.

And I grew uncertain as to whether I liked all this Mystery . . . or not. 

A Romantic Lunch For Two

A Romantic Lunch for Two

Matthew had arranged for us to have lunch that day at the historic Edgefield Manor, a county poor farm built in 1911 which had since been turned into a destination resort for the Pacific Northwest.

Poor farm, no more.

Now the Manor was a gorgeous spot for a romantic lunch and we were just the couple for it.

He pulled our chairs in close together and we immediately picked up where we’d left off the night before. I felt there was a new ease and depth in our conversation and I was ready for it. We jumped from one topic to another, sometimes both speaking at once. Laughing. Teasing.

But then the conversation turned toward how we had each spent our morning. It was easy to say where I’d been and how I’d enjoyed catching up with my girlfriend at the café. But what about him? What had he been up to?

And that’s when there was this sudden awkwardness. An inexplicable silence.

I couldn’t contain my curiosity any longer and blurted out, So what were you doing in the Hawthorne District this morning anyway?

More of a demand than a question.

He looked a bit surprised. Almost as if he’d been caught.

For a moment neither of us said a word.

Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out a beautifully wrapped gift-box and handed it to me.

Apparently, his idea of an explanation of sorts.

For me?

(Dumb question, Lisa. Ugh.)

He didn’t answer but only quietly watched as I opened up the delicate little box.

I carefully lifted the lid and there in front of me was a most unexpected present. 

An Uncommon Love - Chapter 7

1,000 Ways to Win Her Heart

So are you ready for this?

The box held an exquisite bottle of 1000 By Jean Patou. A rather expensive perfume with the most lovely scent of rich, fresh-cut flowers. A “little something” he had picked up at The Perfume House on Hawthorne Street.

A little something, alright.

This was a new move and it was bold.

Jean Patou 1000And I don’t mean the perfume at this point. I’m referring to the man.  What guy goes all out and offers such a daring gift? What if I didn’t like perfume? Or what if this simply wasn’t to my taste?

A risk-taker. 

Yet another word to add to my growing description of this mysterious man.

So what did it all mean? Did his little gift really mean anything at all? Maybe that was just him and he often went around giving girls a small bottle of pricey perfume.

How could I know??

Rather than feeling confident, his small surprise made me feel even less secure. Especially as it was unaccompanied by any declaration of love.

Where were the words to go with such a gift?

He seemed to be able to talk about nearly everything else: books, music, architecture, travels, and, oh yes, now perfume. But not about me. Or to put it more bluntly: how he felt about me.

And my need to hear it was growing by the day.

No, by the hour. Because we only had Wednesday and Thursday left now.

His silence on the subject of “us” was beginning to get to me.

We quietly parted ways after our long lunch together. But before leaving, he suggested that maybe the following day we could….?

But I suppose that’s his part of the story to tell.

To be continued . . . . See you next Wednesday for Chapter Eight then?

In His grace,
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An Uncommon Love - Our True-Life Love Story by Matthew and Lisa Jacobson*Chapter One: If He Was the Last Man On Earth
*Chapter Two: Where Is She? Searching for My Forever Girl
*Chapter Three: What Happens When Mr. Right Walks Into the Room
*Chapter Four: What A Smile Can Say to Him
*Chapter Five: What to Say If You’re Ever Invited on an Adventure
*Chapter Six: The Night I Fell in Love

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)
100 Ways to Love Your Husband: A Life-Long Journey of Learning to Love

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson
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How Training Your Child Can Bring New Peace into Your Home

How Training Can Bring New Peace Into Your HomeLike dumpin’ bugs out of a jar.

That’s how their daddy often described it. Our little ones were prone to scatter and wander at will. Each of them with his or her own agenda, heading out in a different direction of their very own.

So full of fun. Free-wheeling. Independent.

And chaotic.

On the days that I wasn’t trying to make anything happen or get anything done – it wasn’t too bad.

But what if I was actually trying to accomplish something? Or go somewhere?

What then?

Then it was a challenge. I felt almost…helpless.

Like somehow these small people were determining my day. Determining my decisions.

Rather than the other way around.

And it didn’t set right with me.

Nor did it settle so well with them. There was this slightly out-of-control feeling to the whole enterprise and so they whined. Fussed. Tested.

And we often clashed.

Then I heard my dear friend from Texas say something that changed my world. Or at least changed my perspective.

I overheard her telling her child in an oh-so-soft, sweet, and….um…firm voice:

Darlin’, you just need to get on my train.

(Accent is optional, but adds an unmistakable charm.)

She smiled and she was warm. She also knew where she was going and what she was doing.

Her children knew it too. They were secure in her plan for them.

Well, that’s what I wanted for our children. I didn’t want to drag them, pull them, or push them.

I simply wanted our young ones to get on board.

How Training Your Child Will Bring New Peace

Looking for Your Children to Get On Board?

1.   Prepare with prayer.

Before launching a new approach, make sure it’s covered in prayer. Even the best plan is only effective as far as it’s carried out in Christ’s strength.

2.   Go slowly.

Especially at first. If your children have basically had free rein of the place? Then slowly add structure. For instance, the first week you might add set meal times. Then naptimes and bedtimes. And when that’s in place, add specific chores or responsibilities – even if it’s only finding their shoes or picking up toys. Then incrementally add on your other expectations until you’re well on your way.

3.   Stay cheerful.

This is a happy train! It really is. You’ve got good things in store for them. Remind them that you have a lovely plan for their little lives. Maybe they don’t “want” to nap? But you know better. You know this is what’s best for them.

It’s time to get ready to go somewhere? Line up what you want them to do and then help walk them through it.

Allow for plenty of time for training though. Don’t wait until the last minute to make your call.

4.   Remember, God appointed you the conductor of this train.

No need to apologize. This is where the “firm” part comes in. No need to make a big deal about it, but remain confident in what God has called you to do.

He’s asked you to be the parent and your child…well, to be the child.

He’s not designed that little one to be in charge – that’s just too big of a responsibility for those young shoulders.

5.   Keep the destination clear in your mind.

The goal is not to get things done. It’s not about getting places on time.

It’s about your child learning to yield his or her heart to your plans.

Much like they’ll be doing - is this not our hope? – to Christ Himself someday.

So why not encourage your young ones to get on board?

And then everyone enjoy the new peace it brings into your home!

Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it. ~ Prov. 22:6

In His grace,

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100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson *If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get the FREE eBook, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage).

9 Thanksgiving Tips {You’ll Be Truly Thankful For}

9 Thanksgiving Tips You'll Be Truly Thankful For

So I have some fabulous tips to share with you! 

You’re gonna just love these because they’ll help make for the best Thanksgiving ever.

But before I get there, I feel you should know a few things.

About Thanksgiving.

And me.

You should probably know that I’ve experienced some very disastrous Thanksgiving celebrations. 

As in really, really bad ones.

Like my first year as a new bride and I tried to serve our guests from Ethiopia “an authentic American Thanksgiving.”

Who happened to be Orthodox Christians.

Who can’t eat turkey (not kosher). Or green beans (made with bacon). But who graciously enjoyed what side dishes they could.

I felt just terrible. 

We ate a lot of mashed potatoes that year. 

Or like the year when all our guests starting arriving and I did a last minute check on the turkey in the oven. Only to find that my oven had decided to quit that day (oh, why?) and I pulled out a totally raw turkey.

Not good, my friends.

We nibbled on cold-cuts that year.

Or the year that we invited 50 people over for a grand Thanksgiving celebration . . . and our entire family woke up that morning with the stomach flu.

Everyone. Everywhere.

Picture 10 people all …. No, never mind. Don’t even try to picture it. Ick.

We didn’t eat anything  on Thanksgiving that year. 

And this lady is going to share tips on how to have a lovely Thanksgiving celebration?? 

Good point.

Okay, it’s true: we’ve had some pretty rough years.  But we’ve enjoyed many wonderful ones too and I really did learn some terrific tips along the way.

So are you ready for them?

pumpkins outdoor

9 Thanksgiving Tips

{You’ll  Be Truly Thankful For}

1.     Cook the Turkey Ahead of Time.

Now don’t gasp. You have to believe me because this is the BEST tip of the day. I realize it’s hard to let go of the traditional presentation of the whole turkey, but you’ll be so glad you did when you hear all the benefits. This tip alone reduces your stress 50% and makes everything so much easier.

If you cook the turkey ahead of time…

  • You don’t have the pressure of whether the turkey is done in time or not. Overcooked or undercooked. Or cooked at all (see above disaster story).
  • You can carve it up and display it all nicely on a platter – ready to be warmed up whenever you are.
  • You can have all that messy, turkey carcass mess all cleaned up before guests even think of arriving.

I’m telling you, it’s a beautiful thing!

2.     Make Mashed Potatoes The Day Before.

I know…similar theme to the one above. But you can even make them the DAY before. And here’s an added benefit: it creates even better mashed potatoes! Yep. Totally serious. Put them in your crockpot on low that morning and it makes for the creamiest, dreamiest mashed potatoes! People will want to know your “secret” – and it’s up to you whether you tell them or not.

 3.     Let Everyone Contribute to the Meal.

If we have guests (more on this later) and we nearly always do, I invite them to bring a part of the meal.  I will usually “assign” them a dish or two that I know will fill in the meal nicely—usually a side dish and a dessert. But even if it’s “just” family, we all pitch in together.

Bottom line: Never, ever try to do the entire meal yourself. It’s just not how it was meant to be.

Now for those who are starting to wonder: If she cooked the turkey and the mashed potatoes ahead of time AND her guests are bringing the other dishes…..What exactly is she doing on Thanksgiving Day? 

Precisely.

I am enjoying Thanksgiving Day! Yay!! 

4.    Try Putting Everything Out  Buffet-Style.

If you have a crowd - anything over 10 or 12 – then this can really simplify things for everyone. It can be nicely presented and I still like using my best china dishes (but that’s just me). Try it. It’s a great solution!

5.     Let the Kids Help Decorate.

If you have children, then this can be a very delightful part of the day. Even when our children were younger, they would make place-cards for each guest and color them with cute pictures of turkeys or pumpkins. I usually reserved one table for “grown-up” decorations, but I let our kids have at it everywhere else and their creative touches were always a big hit!

6.     Hold a Pie Contest.

So I admit that I was a doubter at first. This was actually first our daughter’s idea and I was none too sure about it. BUT it was a smashing success and great fun!

We invited everyone coming to bring a pie to enter the contest (if they wished to) and then assigned 2 “judges”. We even had small prizes for the winners and multiple categories from which to choose from: taste, presentation, creativity, etc. The judges (my 80-year-old father-in-law and a young man of 17) enjoyed the tasting and the “crowd” cheered them on. Talk about memory-making!

7.     Plan Games for the Young People.

Once again, I have my daughters to thank for this one. Have you ever noticed that there’s just not that much for kids to do on Thanksgiving? I mean, other than eat? So we’ve put together all kinds of games and activities—the pumpkin toss, bob-for-apples, card tournaments, and, our annual tradition, a little skeet-shooting (although this isn’t for everyone).

Oh, and I should mention, while I specified “young people,” all ages have entered into the fun and festivities! Not just for kids. ;)

8.     Open Your Home and Table to Others In Need.

This one is my husband’s strong suit. He is always on the look-out for anyone who doesn’t have anywhere to go on Thanksgiving. Widows. Orphans. The estranged. Travelers. Families who’ve left their homes in other countries. They are all welcome at our table.

We hope it blesses them and I KNOW it blesses us. We’ve made some lovely friendships over our table that have lasted long past Thanksgiving Day.

9.     Share What You Are Thankful For.

So you maybe you think that this is obvious.

Perhaps it should be . . . but it’s not.

Countless people gather every year for “Thanksgiving” and never get around to actually giving thanks.  And I’m not simply talking about a short prayer before the meal begins. I mean sincerely and abundantly offering a word of thanks for all God has done for us.

So let’s make sure this is an essential part of our celebration.

Here are a few ways to give thanks together:
  • Go around the table and ask each person to say what they are thankful for
  • Send out “I am thankful for….” cards to your guests in advance and read them after dinner together
  • If you have placecards, ask your guests to write their thanks on the back of them
  • Leave out a “guestbook”  for the specific purpose of friends and family to write in their thankfulness

*BONUS TIP:

Don’t wait until Thanksgiving Day to be thankful. Fill your heart and your home with gratitude for all the many blessings God has given you all year-round.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever. ~ Psalm 136:1

Homemade Pumpkin Pie for Thanksigiving

*So how about you? What other helpful tips would you add to my list here? I love hearing your ideas!

Giving thanks,

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100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson
*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get the FREE eBook, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage).

The Night I Fell in Love {An Uncommon Love: Chapter 6}

An Uncommon Love - The Night I Fell in Love

*If you’re new here, this is an excerpt from Chapter 6 of An Uncommon Love – our true-life love story. You can also catch up by reading Chapter OneChapter Two, Chapter Three, Chapter Four, and Chapter Five.

Chapter 6

The Night I Fell In Love

by Matthew L Jacobson

I drove down I-84, through the Columbia Gorge, snaking my way up the canyon wall to peer into the vastness of the night sky from some nondescript roadside vantage point. I like looking up at the stars in moments like these.

Somehow, the impossible distances that look like inches to the naked eye brings my world into perspective.

Lisa had said “yes” and we were going to dinner tomorrow evening.

Suddenly, the future I desired with another kindred soul who would naturally, instinctively, and irresistibly intertwine with mine no longer seemed light years away.

On that vibrant, crisp night, the message about Lisa was not clear . . . just not negative . . . possible, even . . . and that, in itself, was a seismic shift from what had always been . . . that’s significant, isn’t it, Matthew?

A little fresh air, a quiet drive into the stillness of the late evening toward home – time to review and reflect on the events of the dinner party.

. . . the streetlight . . .

Yes, we stood together, then . . . as the streetlight filled her dancing eyes with the full spectrum of life, reflecting back into my soul the energy of a possible future.

Light . . . like a man feels heat when his hand strays too close to the open flame, I could feel the intensity of it’s growing beam everywhere around me.

It’s the story of the moth . . . I would not play the moth . . . be careful.

But, how, exactly are you to be careful when atop a lava flow? Monday just the two of us would be present – alone in the bustling restaurant – fiercely casual, ardently testing the night’s essence without the camouflage of distraction provided by the safe presence of other couples. Yeah, you have to be careful around lava.

Those who care about others know the Territory of Love is strewn with the wreckage of damaged hearts and hopes deferred. That was the last journey I wanted to take . . . or cause someone else to endure.

But, there’s no getting around it, is there?

No wonder the Bible calls it a mystery . . . the way of a man with a maid.

You can read the rest of this chapter over at Matthew L Jacobson!

Great Resting House in Paradise

 

An Uncommon Love - Our True Life Love Story by Matthew and Lisa Jacobson*Chapter One: If He Was the Last Man On Earth

*Chapter Two: Where Is She? Searching for My Forever Girl

*Chapter Three: What Happens When Mr. Right Walks Into the Room

*Chapter Four: What A Smile Can Say to Him

*Chapter Five: The Best Answer If You’re Ever Invited on an Adventure

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get the FREE eBook, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage).