What Happens When Mr. Right Walks into the Room {An Uncommon Love: Chapt. 3}

An Uncommon Love - What Happens When Mr. Right Walks into the Room

 *This is Chapter 3 of An Uncommon Love – our true-life love story. You can also catch up by reading Chapter One: If He was the Last Man on Earth and Chapter Two: Where Is She? {Searching For My Forever Girl}

I knew it as soon as he entered the room.

He walked through the doorway with his confident stride. Wearing a thick, manly sweater, black Levi’s, and western boots.  Tall, dark, and handsome, just like she said.

With those unforgettable blue eyes.

It’s possible I fell in love at that very moment. At that very first dinner party.

No, surely not?

I mean, no one really falls in love with a pair of boots . . . do they?

No, of course, they don’t.

So maybe it was his smile.  Or his honest expression.

Or it might very well have been those beautiful blue eyes.

But mostly . . . mostly it was his soul. Somehow his soul came clear through. Shone a bright light right across the room and then settled deep into my own.

And in that moment I knew.

There is the man I am going to marry.

Just like that. Simple, straightforward, and as distinct as if a Voice had spoken.

There he is. Your future husband. Right there.

All of this happened in an instant. This sense that the rest of my life was standing tall before me. I felt surprisingly calm considering the implications.

My one thought?  Wow. I can’t wait to get to know him. This man I’m going to marry.

Wait A Second Here . . .

Wait a second . . . I thought Lisa said something about, “If he was the last man on earth, she wouldn’t date him .” Now she’s ready to marry him? ?

And you’re right.  I did say that. And  I meant it too.

But a lot had happened in the 8 months since that disastrous first meeting and the horrendous lunch that followed.

You see, God had been working in me.

Over time, He had been slowly softening my heart and showing my need to listen to Him. Because up until then, I had been the one calling the shots in my love life. Telling Him what I did – and did not – want in a man.  I was determined to stay in control.

I wanted to be in charge.

Yet my Heavenly Father had been gently pressing on me that I needed to learn to trust Him with my heart. That He could and would take care of me . . . if I would only let Him.

So, yes, a lot happened over those 8 months.

Which is why I could make that shocking announcement on New Year’s Eve.

An Uncommon Love - New Years Resolution

A Surprising New Year’s Resolution

The table fell silent for a minute or two.

All my friends became quiet, not sure if they should laugh,  sympathize, or . . . what.

It was New Year’s Eve and we were all lightheartedly sharing our resolutions. Some were semi-serious and others were less so. We went around the table and each of us had something that we’d hoped to aspire to in the coming year.

Then came my turn …

I’m going to get married this year, I announced as if it was the most natural thing in the world.

And while there’s certainly nothing unnatural about a 26 year old girl getting married, there was this slight problem.

I wasn’t dating anyone and hadn’t for several years.

Not only was I not dating, I wasn’t even acquainted with any eligible guys.

And then my friends couldn’t contain themselves any longer and burst into laughter. They considered my statement as something of a big joke.

I considered it something of a big step of faith.

Give the Guy A (Second) Chance

Which brings us to March 13, 1992 and the evening of the dinner party.

A few weeks previous to the party, my friend Linda had called me and once again asked if I’d be coming up to Portland anytime soon. Her boss really did want to meet me, she assured me, and this time it was his idea.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but she had been busy praying for the two of us, truly believing that we were meant for each other.

And wouldn’t you know it? One day, that boss of hers (you know, the proud, arrogant one?) walked by her desk and mentioned in passing, “You remember that friend of yours? The girl down in California? Well, I really would be interested in taking her out, if she was ever up this way again.” And kept walking.

I believe my phone was ringing about three minutes later.

And as it turned out, I was coming up to Portland in a couple of weeks.

You know . . . to be a bridesmaid.

For the 13th time.

Yes, I’m serious. Sigh.

So I figured if I didn’t want to be a bridesmaid for the rest of my life, I’d better start opening up to the possibilities that came my way.

And this guy was definitely A Possibility.

Because in spite of the bad impression he had first made on me, he had a very good reputation everywhere else.  He was known to be a sincere and godly man, kind and considerate, along with a fun sense of humor. Not a bad combination, as far as I was concerned.

Maybe I should give him a second chance . . .

An Uncommon Love - The Dinner Party That Changed Everything

The Dinner Party That Changed Everything

The dinner party was a dream.

Mr. Blue Eyes walked straight over to me and began a conversation that might have gone on forever.

Except that our hostess called us to dinner abruptly reminding us that there were other people in the world. Or at least other people in the room.

So I had to settle for staring at him from across the table.

Because by then I was in love.

I was looking at the man I was going to marry. He was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with—talking, laughing, and loving together.

My happily-ever-after.

My very own Mr. Right.

At the end of the evening, we stood out in the driveway and talked some more before we each went our separate ways. He threw something out, like maybe we should get together again before I went back down to L.A.? And that was about it.

So I was left to wait.

Waited and waited through the longest week-end of my life.

I was to be in Portland for only 8 days. Eight. Now 3 were down and we had only five left.

So what was taking him so long to  call me ??

To be continued . . . .

An Uncommon Love - A True Life Love Story by Matthew and Lisa Jacobson

Matthew will be taking it from here next Wednesday!

*Just for fun, what are some of the neat qualities that first attracted you to your husband? Please share! :)

In His grace,
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*Chapter One: If He Was the Last Man On Earth

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

How My Husband Became My Best Friend

How My Husband Became My Best Friend

He often introduces me as his girlfriend.

Ever-so-slightly embarrassing.

He’ll say it to the barista at Starbucks, or the cashier in the check-out line of the grocery store. Even to the new couple we met at the homeschool picnic.

After 22 years, you’d think I’d get used to it, but it still makes me blush.

And smile.

I always hasten to add that I also happen to be his wife –an important fact to establish when you have 8 children together.

And I’ll flash my wedding ring to prove it if necessary.

I think he gets some kind of odd gratification out of my embarrassment.

Then pretends to protest, “What . . . you are my girlfriend, aren’t you?”

Yes, well . . .

It’s true: I am a girl. And I am his friend.  A close friend.

The best of friends, really.

So I guess that does make me his girl-friend.

And like most good friendships, ours has grown over time. We’ve had to invest in our friendship and look after it.

So many times people think it’s because we somehow just “click”. But while there might be some “clicking” between us, it’s more than that. Far more than that.

It wasn’t as though we instantly became best friends. It’s been a long, purposeful process.

Here is how we became the best of friends….

How My Husband and I Became Best Friends

How Your Husband Can Become Your Best Friend

By spending time together.  I know. You’re going to tell me how busy you are. I understand busy. And yet I figure I manage to get a shower (usually) and several meals a day. That’s because it’s a priority with me. I need these things.

I also need time with my husband, so I can make that happen too.

By being nice to him.  You know how you’re super sweet to your girlfriends?  Smile and cheer them on? Do nice things for them? Yeah, well, it’s kinda the same here. This friendship is no different.

Play nice.

By being interested in his stuff. So I have one friend who is really into gardening. And another who is into goats. I am not particularly keen on either of those things – but since it’s my friends we’re talking about here, I’ve decided to be interested. For their sakes.

Same with my husband.

By having fun together.  Friendships are never all business, are they? Of course not! It’s not like you sit down with your girlfriend and constantly go over the budget, or decide who is going to drive which child where.  No, you sip coffee, go fun places and laugh at each other’s stories!

Hello . . . ?

By praying for him. If you’re a friend of mine, than you already know that I pray for you.  I can’t always get away from the kids, or write long emails, but you can count on my praying for you. It’s one of my “love gifts” to my friends.

And I pray for my husband and he knows it.

Just this past week-end Matthew was out-of-town on a business trip and called to ask me to pray for him about a particular issue.  I started praying as soon as I hung up the phone.

Because that’s what friends do.

{You might also be interested in joining the 31 Days of Prayer for Our Marriages by Time-Warp Wife. Her Prayer Challenge is starting up this week on October 1st!}

So if you ever run into my husband and he introduces me as his girlfriend, just smile and go along with it, will you?

Maybe even tell him that you feel like you already know him . . . . since Lisa talks so much about her boyfriend. ;)

Embracing friendship.

*How do you and your husband invest in your friendship? Or what are some of the things that get in the way? I love hearing from you, friends!

In His grace,

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*I hope you’ve enjoyed our Virtual Marriage Retreat! You can still hop over to any of the links below to catch up on all the articles written for this series. 

Embrace Your Marriage - A Virtual Marriage Retreat

These 5 bloggers and I have joined together to offer a word of wisdom and inspiration to encourage you in your marriage.

On these  5 topics . . . .

  • Embracing Grace 
  • Embracing Change  
  • Embracing Your Differences  
  • Embracing Unity 
  • Embracing Friendship 

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Teaching Your Child Social Skills in a Screen-Driven World

Teaching Your Child Social Skills in a Screen-Driven World

You know the scene: one child is playing video games on a tablet while an older sister is texting away, never looking up from her screen.

The mom tries to have a conversation but can’t compete with the screens.

Although social media implies being “social,” we know that many kids are growing up with a lack of true people skills.  When we overuse screens, we underuse relational skills.

What can you do to teach your child to care of others and to be truly social in a screen-driven world?

Practice, Practice, Practice

When it comes to learning a new skill like hitting a baseball or playing the piano, you know the saying “Practice makes perfect.”  The role of practice is just as important when learning positive social skills.  Consider your home as the dress rehearsal.  It’s a safe place where your kids can role play and practice making conversation for common social settings they will experience in real life.

Begin by explaining how your child will benefit from acting friendly even when he would rather play a video game.  Some benefits may be having more fun, making good friends, or enjoying school and social activities more.  Share how becoming friendly has helped you in your life.

Here are a few social scenarios to practice at home with your child:

Successful play dates.  Pretend you are a friend coming over to play.  “What should we play?” you ask.  Have your child pick five fun activities to choose from (things like board games, Legos, soccer or basketball).  Make screens off limits and be sure to serve an extra delicious snack.

Playground fun.  Go outside and pretend you are at your child’s school playground or a neighborhood playground.  Ask your child, “What do you do when you first get to the playground?”  Suggest that he or she look out for anyone who is standing alone.  How might your child go about joining a group that’s playing?  What if they say there’s no room?  Run through different scenarios and how your child can respond.  Role play situations to help your child practice interacting with classmates or neighborhood kids.

Navigating the classroom.  Have your child sit at a table as you pretend to be the teacher.  Ask a question and have your child raise his or her hand and tell you the answer.  Stress the importance of making eye contact with his teacher.  If your child has to present something to the whole class, practice many times at home in front of sibling or stuffed animals.

Meeting adults.  You can make this activity more fun by putting on a costume like a hat or jacket.  Practice the introduction as you pretend to be the new adult.  “Joy, this is Mrs. Davis.”  Have your child look you in the eyes and say, “It’s nice to meet you Mrs. Davis.”  Go one step further and teach your child to ask the new acquaintance a question like, “How are you today?” or “What do you do for your job?”

Giving and receiving compliments.  Pretend to be a friend, coach, or teacher and give your child a compliment like “You did a very good job on your drawing.”  Have your child practice looking you in the eyes and saying, “Thank you.”  Encourage your child not to mumble his thank you, but to say it clearly and enthusiastically.  Then have your child practice giving a compliment to you.  Challenge your child to compliment one person that day and report back to you on how it goes.

Reading non-verbals.  Successful communication consists of both words and non-verbal cues.  Screens can’t teach a child the nuances of body language or facial expressions.  But you can act out different facial expressions to quiz your child.  As you make different faces (sad, angry, happy, etc.), ask your child to name the feeling.  You can thumb through a magazine together and identify the different emotions the people pictured are displaying.  What might they be feeling by the way they look?  What does their body language tell you?

As you teach your child social skills, keep Romans 12:10 in mind:  “Be devoted to one another in love.  Honor one another above yourselves.”

This is the why behind your training.

When you help your child prioritize people above screens, you are preparing him or her to thrive with many healthy relationships.  No app can do that – but you can!

*Adapted from Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World by Arlene Pellicane and Gary Chapman.

Growing Up Social - Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World

Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World

In this digital age, children are spending more and more time interacting with a screen rather than a parent. Technology has the potential to add value to our families, but it can also erode a sense of togetherness and hinder a child’s emotional growth.

In Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World, you’ll learn how to take back your home from an over-dependence on screens. Discover the five A+ skills needed to give your child the relational edge in a screen-driven world: affection, appreciation, anger management, apology, and attention.

Today’s screens aren’t just in our living rooms; they are in our pockets. Now is the time to equip your child to live with screen time, not for screen time. Constant entertainment is not the goal of childhood. No phone, tablet, or gaming device can teach your child how to have healthy relationships; only you can.

 Growing Up Social is available HERE

Arlene PellicaneArlene Pellicane is a speaker and author of 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife.  She has been featured on the Today Show, Family Life Today, K-LOVE, and The Better Show.  She lives in San Diego with her husband James and three children.  Visit Arlene at www.ArlenePellicane.com for free family resources including a monthly Happy Home podcast.

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

*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).

Embracing Unity: How Two People Can Think and Act as One

Embracing Unity - How Two People Can Think and Act As One

I think it’s pretty sweet.

What? What’s sweet?

Oh, you know the way you always check in with your husband before committing to do anything. 

“Sweet.” Hmm . . . .

Not necessarily the word I would have used.

But, yeah, I guess I do “always check in” with him.

And he with me.

Because we’ve made it our practice to think and act as one.

Some people think this is sweet, like my friend.

For other people?  It makes them shudder. Like we’re somehow just too “into” each other.

Do I ever feel stifled? Hindered? Slowed down by this whole “oneness” thing?

Admittedly, it was a new way for me to look at life – this life we’re now sharing together – but the Bible states we are no longer two people like we were before.

We are now one flesh.

So what exactly does that mean?

Surely, not simply that we sleep together.

Not that it isn’t important – because it is – but it’s got to mean more than that. One flesh is mentioned in such a way as not merely to be a matter of going to bed with him.

The two shall become one.

No longer he and me . . . because now it’s WE.

And you know what we have found? It takes a little – okay a lot of – practice and intentionality. We have to purpose to think and act as one. 

So They Are No Longer Two But One Flesh

How Do Two People Think and Act as One?

We don’t lead private lives. There’s no such thing as “his” life and “mine”. We belong to each other and so there are no secrets or hidden things. For instance, I have free access to his computer and he to mine. We have a basic knowledge where the other person is at all times. We share with each other what we’ve been thinking about, who we’ve been talking to, and what is on our heart.

Unity means being completely open with one another.

We don’t make independent decisions. We make all major decisions together and run most minor decisions by the other person. And, yes, I do believe in submitting to my husband because that’s what God says in His Word (Eph.5:22). But at the same time, I’m blessed to be married to a man who values my opinion and cares deeply about my concerns. We aim to be of one mind on most everything.

Unity means making your decisions together.

We stand together as one. As my husband reminds me, “You and I are on the inside. Everyone else is looking in from the outside.” What this means is that we are protective of our unity and don’t allow anyone – not family or friends – to try and divide us. Staying unified can be challenging enough without the added stress of others pulling us apart.

Unity means being fiercely loyal to each other.

We speak as one. You wouldn’t have to know us long before you picked up that we often say “we” and “our” rather than “I” and “my”. This is not merely one of our quirks, but language we consciously use to inform others – as well to remind ourselves – that we are in this together. It’s not about what I want or what he wants, but what WE want and what WE are thinking.

Unity means communicating your togetherness.

So that’s the real reason why I “always check in with him” and why I plan to do keep doing so. And maybe it is sorta sweet. But it’s more than that too. It’s oneness and it’s biblical marriage.

No longer two.

But one

Challenge: What are some ways that you and your husband maintain your unity? Or, what are some challenges you face in living as “one”?

In His grace,

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*I hope you are being blessed and refreshed by our Virtual Marriage Retreat!

Embrace Your Marriage - A Virtual Marriage Retreat

Every Monday in September, these five bloggers and I are offering a word of wisdom and inspiration to encourage you in your marriage. I hope you’ll hop over to see each one of them!

And here are the topics . . . .

  • September 1 – Embracing Grace 
  • September 8th – Embracing Change  
  • September 15th – Embracing Your Differences  
  • September 22nd – Embracing Unity 
  • September 29th – Embracing Friendship 

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

*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).