7 Verses to Hold On To . . . When You’re Holding On to Your Marriage {& Free Printable}

7 Verses to Hold On to When You're Holding On to Your Marriage

I’m just trying to hold on . . .

And she left it there. But I knew what she meant and my heart went out to her.

Sometimes it’s simply a matter of holding on and holding tight.

Remember what’s good, what’s right, and what’s true.

I was pretty sure I knew what she meant.

She was holding on to her marriage and wasn’t about to give up.

Maybe that’s where you are too. 

Or maybe it’s someone you love who is close to you and struggling to hang in there.

Holding on.

But you are not on your own in this world. God is with you.

Turn to Him and turn to His Word. Hold on to these truths He wrote for you. 

7 Verses to Hold On To . . .

When You’re Holding On to Your Marriage


If you don’t know what to do, or how to handle what’s before you? He promises to give you wisdom, if you ask Him for it.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5


If you’re heart is breaking and you need healing and comfort? Let God’s steadfast love surround you and fill your heart once again. His promise.

Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant.  ~ Psalm 119:76


Maybe it seems impossible and you feel like you’re faltering? God will give you the strength to do what He’s called you to do. Let Him work through you and in you.

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:13


Do you need some help in this situation? Can’t do it by yourself or on your own? You don’t have to do it alone. He is your mighty God and He will help you.

Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~ Isaiah 41:10


7 Verses to Hold On To - Part 1


If you’re worried and full of anxiety over the matter before you? Come to Him with your requests, remembering to thank Him for even the little things He’s done. He promises to fill you with His peace—the kind that almost doesn’t make sense and yet it’s real.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7


If you’re afraid of what’s going to happen or what the future holds? You don’t need to be because that’s only the voice of the Enemy trying to discourage and defeat you. This is a great verse to say right aloud: “For God gave ME a spirit not of fear…!”

….for God gave us {me!} a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. ~ 2 Timothy 1:7


You are never without hope because we serve the God of hope and He is a Redeemer! He is able – more than able – to carry you and your marriage.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  ~ Jeremiah 29:11

7 Verses to Hold On To - Part 2


I hope you find strength and  encouragement in all these verses! They are for you.

Please feel free to print them off and place wherever they will most bless you—in your purse, in your kitchen window, or on your bedroom wall.

You can download and print the verses by clicking the links below:

7 Verses to Hold On to  – Part 1

7 Verses to Hold On to – Part 2


Keep holding on to your marriage, my friend.

God is holding on to you.

In His grace,

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*You’re very welcome to share these with friends or family who might need to hear this as well!

**If you’d like prayer- either for yourself, or someone you know and love – you can mention it below in the comments. I’d be glad to lift you up, as well as many other women in this community. And don’t feel like you have to get into the specifics, even a basic “pray for me” works and God knows well what it is that you’re asking. 

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.)

Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).

The Most Loving Thing I’ve Done For Our Marriage

The Most Loving Thing I've Done For Our Marriage

I’d like to think that there’s been a whole lot of loving done over the years.

I mean, so much can happen over decades of marriage, right? Good times. Hard times. Big sacrifices. Small ones. I’ve loved him through it all.

But what would be the most loving thing?

Would it be that gorgeous September morning when I vowed to love him “until death do us part”? Loving him.

Or maybe when I gave birth to our first child? The pain. The joy. Loving him.

Or maybe the 5th child . . . or the 8th? Loving him.

When I followed him across the country—and then back again? Loving him.

Or perhaps when I wept and prayed over him as I watched his vital signs drop in that cold hospital room. Oh, please God, desperately loving him.

Yes, lots of loving over the years. But the most loving thing? I’ve thought long and hard over this question.

The most loving thing I’ve done as his wife is to seek Christ.

That really would have to be it. Nothing has made a bigger difference in our relationship than my walk with God.

I don’t think I realized it at the time, when I first married him. You see, I was still young and something of a hopeful romantic. We had each other and that was what mostly mattered—him, me, and love. I just knew it was going to be beautiful.

And it has been beautiful.

But there were some things I didn’t anticipate we’d go through together.

I didn’t know then that there would be so many challenges. That we’d walk through grief, frustration, disappointment, and times when I could hardly see straight.

There was so much I didn’t know . . . .

Oh, and not only things about him and our life together, but about myself. I didn’t understand what kind of person I really was. I was determined to be the best wife I could be, but it was more difficult than I’d counted on.

I discovered I was more selfish than I thought. More stubborn. More moody and more self-serving.

I found that my determination to be the “most loving wife” wasn’t enough. I needed Christ. I needed to seek God with all my heart. I needed to let Him work in me and change me. I needed to trust Him with our marriage.

The Most Loving Thing I've Done for Our Marriage

If you want to love your spouse? 

The most loving thing you can do is . . .  

Love your God. Seek Him and devote your life to Him.

But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find Him, if you search after Him with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deut. 4:29)

Spend time in His Word. Soak it up and listen to what He is saying to you as you read through it.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Ps. 119:105)

Go to Him in prayer. Thanking God and praising Him. Ask Him to do a work in you and in your marriage.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Phil. 4:6).

Walk in the Spirit. And not your own strength. Be filled with the Spirit of God.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Gal. 5:16)

If you ever find yourself wondering what you can do to love your Beloved better? To improve your marriage?

Then I’d tell you this: spend time with your God. Seek Him. Walk with Him. Love Him.

It’s the most loving thing you can do for your marriage.

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

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

Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).

To My Daughter: A Good Man is Worth Waiting For

To My Daughter - A Good Man is Worth Waiting For

It’s not easy being young.

Especially when you’re a girl and eagerly looking forward to the upcoming Hoedown on Saturday night.

She had no trouble picking out a blouse or borrowing a cowboy hat from a friend.

But finding the perfect denim skirt? That was another matter.

Our daughter looked up at me with pleading eyes, “Please, Mama, can we go thrift shopping for a skirt? I have the outfit all pictured in my mind. Please….?”

Oh, how I wanted to help her out.

I mean, on the one hand, it wasn’t a big deal, right? Just another Saturday night event at Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch.

The Ranch of Rescued Dreams.

But then again, it kinda is . . . when you’re a fun-loving, dreamy girl. And it’s not been so very long that I don’t remember what that’s like.

So I honestly wanted to do this for her. But I couldn’t.

My day was more-than-filled and I couldn’t see how to pull it off. I tried to soften the blow and let her down easy. It’s true, earlier in the week I had told her I’d take her. But what could I do . . . ? Sometimes plans change.

I was searching for sympathetic words for the dear girl when I heard him speak up from across the room.

“I’ll take her,” he simply said.

That would be her dad talking.

We both glanced over at him – somewhat surprised.

“Umm…Honey? You’re so sweet to offer, but we’re talking thrift shopping here. And this is a work day for you. And you have a deadline to meet and . . . .” I had so many reasons why it didn’t make sense. Why he shouldn’t do it.

But it was already a done-deal.

He was grabbing his keys and they were going.

I watched the two of them drive off and I wondered if she’d always remember that day with her dad. If someday she’d look back at the old photos and remember searching nearly every thrift shop in our small western town. The perfect blue-jean skirt finally showing up at the last consignment store.

Happy smiles and holding hands. Daddy and daughter.

It wouldn’t be the first time I’d fallen in love with that man. But watching him drive away with that girl of ours had me spinning again.

A Good Man is Worth Waiting For

Funny what love can look like.

When I first met my husband, I thought love looked like a tall, dark, and handsome man. Then it became a long, passionate kiss and deep conversations that went late into the night. Later on it meant holding a new baby in our arms and tucking sleepy children into their beds.

Now love looked like a busy man taking the day off work to rescue the small dreams of a young girl. Who is quickly becoming a woman.

I often thought of them – those two whom I love so dearly – throughout that day.

And I prayed that our daughter would someday find just such a man. A good man who understands the hopes and dreams of a woman. The kind of guy who’s willing to look after his girl. Who cares about her heart.

A Good Man is Worth Waiting For

Hold out, my Darling, for that kind of man because he’s worth waiting for.

I pray this for all our dear daughters. For mine and for yours too.

I pray that she will wait for a good man. That she’ll know what love really looks like.

I pray that he’ll be one who loves Christ and loves her too.

Sacrificially and faithfully. Tenderly. A good man.

Yes, wait for him. 

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

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

Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).

What Makes Love Hot in a Monogamous Marriage

What Makes Love Hot in a Monogamous Marriage

Since we’re good friends I feel like I can tell you this.

So, yeah, I went out on a hot date last Saturday night.

It all started with a new box of Cheerios and hearing the kids cheer. . . and then discovering we were out of milk.

He looked over at me. And I looked back at him. And we both knew what was coming.

But he asked me all the same, “Hey, Baby, wanna go on a milk-date with me?”

What girl could refuse an invitation like that?

Not this girl.

So we climbed into the car and drove the 20 minutes out to the Kalebaugh Family Farm where we pick up our farm-fresh milk each week-end.  Three gallons in three glass gallon jars.

Talking and laughing. Always holding hands.

Except when he pulls the car over and stops as the sun is setting behind the mountains so that we can . . . take pictures for Instagram (ha! Not what you were expecting, was it? ;) ).

Now maybe you’re thinking this doesn’t sound all that romantic. Possibly a bit dull.

But, baby, I’m telling ya, it doesn’t get much better than this!

Okay, so it’s not likely that anyone will ever write a best-selling novel about us or turn our story into a blockbuster movie.

But if you want to know the honest truth?

The best romances aren’t necessarily as exciting or thrilling (and certainly not fearful) as they make it sound. The best are quietly lived out each day, starting in the morning with a kiss, working and playing, caring for the kids, fixing dinner, and snuggling into each other at the end of the evening.

And it’s hotter than you might think. 

What Makes Love Hot in a Monogamous Marriage

What Makes Love Hot . . . In a Monogamous Marriage

Love is hot when a man and woman commit to staying together.

They’re not gonna give up or run out when the going gets tough. They’ve made a covenant and, by God’s grace, they’re gonna keep it.

And the two shall become one flesh, so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate. (Mark 10:8-9)

Love is hot when he and she freely offer forgiveness to one another.

Neither are demanding, or even expecting, sinless perfection—but, by the same grace offered them, they’re going to forgive each other.

. . . bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. (Col. 3:13)

Love is hot when he cherishes her and she respects him.

They’re not vying for their own territory or despising the gift they’ve been given. They show a high regard for one another and consider their love something precious and beautiful.

However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Eph. 5:33)

Love is hot when he and she lovingly lay down their lives for each other.

Their desire is to bless and give generously – even sacrificially – out of love for the other person.

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)

Love is hot when they’re grateful to grow old together.

Nothing is steamier than an older couple who’ve been walking decades together, holding hands, and stealing a kiss now and then.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.

It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

~ I Corinthians 13 ~

Don and Pat Kissing

So if you want a romantic way to celebrate love? Try this:

1.   Begin with a new box of cold cereal. (Old boxes work too, but the new ones are even better.)

2.  Make sure that you are out of milk.

3.  Grab that guy you love and run out to the farm . . . or to the store, if that’s where you go.

4.  Hold hands all the way there.

5.  Don’t forget to stop and take pictures of the sunset.

6.  Kiss alongside the road while you’re at it (okay, you caught us!).

7.  Hold hands all the way home.

8.  Then keep on kissing until you’re old.

Because a romantic moment can be as beautiful as running out of milk when you’ve got a big box of Cheerios.

Especially when it’s just the two of you.

Forever, Only, and Always.

And, baby, if you ask me?

That’s HOT.

In His grace,
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*That last photograph is of Matthew’s parents who’ve been married for over 60 years

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.)

Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).

How to Draw Closer Together…When You’ve Drifted Apart {& Date-Night Giveaway}

Club31women.com_How to Draw Closer Together When You've Drifted Apart

She wasn’t sure how it even happened.

It’s not what either of them had ever intended.

There was a time when she felt close to him, but now . . . somehow . . . they seemed so far away from each other.

I suppose they could blame it on the kids. I mean, it’s a lot of time and work to raise children.

Maybe it was her health issues and all that she’d gone through as of late.

Or maybe it was his job. It seemed to take everything out of him and he was away a lot of the time.

Perhaps it was all the problems with extended family, or the ministry. So much to do and so many people to care for.

In any case, here they both were. Living in the same home. Standing in the same spot. But feeling a cavernous distance between them.

So how do you draw closer together . . . when you’ve drifted so far apart?

7 Ways to Draw Closer Together

1.  Be the one to make the first move.  Don’t wait for him to start the steps forward. Reach across the span and see if you can’t bridge the distance.

2.  Be willing to open up.  Be the one who starts the discussion – just make sure it’s encouraging, building-up talk.  This isn’t the time to address all the things wrong with him, or what you’re unhappy about. Think of at least one small thing you can be thankful for and begin there.

3.   Please don’t give up.  No matter how discouraged you are with where you’re both at. Dig in for the long haul and determine to make it work.

4.   Slowly move together. In the same way you had slowly moved away. Lasting changes are often made incrementally and gently over time.  And before you know it, you’re looking back and seeing how far you’ve both come.

5.   Reach out for help.  Friends, we were not made to walk through this life alone. Call out to a friend, or a godly, older couple at your church that you can ask for help. Get professional counseling, if it’s necessary.  A wise, outside perspective can make all the difference in many cases.

6.   Pray for your marriage.  Ask God to renew your love for each other.  Ask Him to show you any blind spots or barriers that are between you. Pray with faith and pray for change. 

7.   Remember that you love each other.  Because sometimes we lose sight of that, don’t we? We get caught up in the busyness and pressures of daily life, that we forget that we actually like each other. That we used to be crazy-in-love with on another.

And when that happens?

Sometimes the best thing you can do is to take a little time out and time away to remind each other of those things that drew you together in the first place. And don’t wait for your 25th anniversary or that dream cruise to come about!  Instead, put aside a special time so the two of you can pull away and renew your love for one another.

And with that in mind . . . . . (are you ready for this?) . . . .

We’re offering a chance to win this fabulous Stay-at-Home Date Night Giveaway!

Date Night Giveaway

Stay-At-Home Date-Night Giveaway

Are you ready for an unforgettable date night? I’ve teamed up with some of my favorite bloggers to offer you one of the best stay-at-home date nights ever!

Alison of Pint-Sized Treasures

Crystal of Crystal & Co.

MaryEllen of ImperfectHomemaker

Becky of YourModernFamily

Melissa of AVirtuousWoman

And together we’ve put this HUGE package of date-night goodies that will arrive on your doorstep just in time for Valentine’s Day!

So what’s included in this amazing date night package?

Here’s the scoop!

Love jewelry? What woman doesn’t! Enjoy this $100 gift certificate to Luxe Design. They offer a fabulous selection of personalized and sentimental jewelry. They have a number of items that would be perfect for wives who wish to wear a tangible reminder of their choice to love their husband.


What’s Valentine’s Day without chocolate? Of course, we only included the very best for our readers — Godiva Truffles!

Godiva Signature Truffles

Are you a Dayspring fan? We are offering some super-fun gifts from them to celebrate your marriage! These will add the perfect pinch of romance and sentimentality to your at-home date with these gifts below:

  • Mr and Mrs. Coupon Book
  • Mr. and Mrs. Love Note Set
  • Love Never Fails Plaque

Mr. and Mrs. Coupon Book

How about some items to help you freshen up for your date? Don’t worry, we thought about that too! The winner will enjoy the following products from a fun place to shop for moms — Zulily.

  • Liz Claiborne Spark Eau de Parfum
  • Adrienne Vittadini Bright Five-Piece Lip Gloss Set
  • City Color Cosmetics Vibrant Palette Makeup Set
  • Raspberry Foaming Milkshake Bubble Bath
    lip gloss

For some awesome, inspirational reading, we are also including hard copies of the following books (look familiar? *wink):

100 Ways to Love Your Husband

Since it’s Valentine’s Day, we thought you needed some extra sparkle!

Enjoy some extra shopping by choosing one gift from either of these stores (item will be shipped separately from the winner’s package):

Monarch Jewelry

To finish it all off, enjoy a good scrub and long soak with these natural bath products. Get ready for some pampering with this AMAZING basket of goodies from Bend Soap Company.

  • 3 Lotions
  • 3 Soaps
  • 1 Milk Bath in a bag
  • 2 Travel Size soaps
  • 2 soap dishes
  • 1 Natural Loofah Pouch
  • 1 Foot Scrub Brush
  • $25 Gift certificate

These goodies all come in a reusable stylish antique copper tin. Soaps and lotions are in the following fabulous scents: Oatmeal and Honey, Cranberry Wassail, English Garden, Lemon Verbena, Island Coconut, Sweet Orange, Almond Delight, Eucalyptus Spearmint, and High Desert Rain.

Bend Soap Company makes natural goat milk soaps and lotions on their farm in Bend, Oregon. Made with only the highest quality of ingredients, including farm fresh goat milk, coconut oil, olive oil, and palm oil. The luxurious, handmade products soothe dry skin and offer a nourishing elixir to the skin in place of the common commercial skin care products on the market.

Choose to Love Your Skin … One bar at a time with Bend Soap Company. Visit their website and order online at BendSoap.com

Bend Soap Company Gift Basket

*Enter below for your chance to enter this HUGE Stay-at-home Date Night Package:

Happy Valentine’s Day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Giveaway is for U.S. Residents only

Falling for Him…All Over Again {An Uncommon Love: Chapters 11 & 12}

An Uncommon Love - Falling for Him All Over Again

“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 are -the final – Chapters 11 and 12 of An Uncommon Love: Our True-Life Love Story. If you’re new here, you can catch up with Chapt. 1Chapt. 2, Chapt. 3, Chapt. 4, Chapt. 5, Chapt. 6, Chapt. 7Chapt. 8, Chapt. 9, and Chapt. 10.

Chapter 11

Falling For Him – All Over Again

So now you’re wondering why I cried myself to sleep.

I mean, clearly the guy is in love with her! (Can’t she see that?)

That was the problem: I couldn’t see it.

Maybe I should have and looking back now . . . ? Well, I might have to admit there were a few clues.

But then again, you’ve had the advantage of an inside peek in the guy’s head. He’s shared with you what was going through his mind. Racing through his heart.

Not me. I didn’t have access to those silent italicized conversations that you’ve been able to read.


I only had this very polite guy who didn’t talk about his feelings. Or his future. Or, more importantly, our future together.

I only had the man who shook my hand and wanted to be friends.

Except I wasn’t looking for a new friend. I mean, I was glad we were becoming such good friends and all, but . . .

I wanted more than that.

A lot more than that.

I wanted to become his wife.

I believed with all my heart that this was what God intended for us . . . but what if God hadn’t told him that? Or worse, what if He had, but Matthew didn’t want to listen.

What then?

So after he abruptly left me at the end of that romantic and tragic evening up at Timberline Lodge, I walked to my room, shut the door, and cried myself to sleep.

But don’t worry, I woke up the next morning renewed and with fresh resolve.

Yes, a good cry and a good night’s sleep provided a better and more mature perspective. A little more sophisticated and refined approach to the situation.

And it went something like this: Forget this guy.

Drop him. Get lost. Hit the road. Vamoose. Take a hike. Goodbye.

You get the idea, don’t you?

Not looking for a friend, buddy. And if you’re one of those “forever young” kind of guys? Good for you, but I’m not settling for my always-the-bridesmaid status. No, thank you!

So you can just run along.

Hopefully, you can understand then why I decided I would not go to lunch with him on my last day in town. No more romantic palsy-walsy lunches with this guy (okay, perhaps a slight contradiction in terms).

Don’t try to take me in with your lovely gifts of perfume, roaring fireplaces, and sweet conversation.

I was done.


An Uncommon Love - Saying Goodbye to the Man in the Suit

Saying Goodbye to the Man in the Suit

I called Linda to let her know that I would not be there for my Last Lunch with Matthew.  No apologies or explanations.

Just. Not. Coming. In.

A very short conversation. Asked if she’d kindly relay the message to her boss.

She called me back a few short minutes later.

She said that I “had” to come in. Urgent and pressing. Like it was some kind of moral obligation or national crisis. She brought the pressure down from a side I’d never seen of her.

I simply must come in for lunch.

Fine! I will come.

But my mind was made up. My heart and mind were made of steel. Cold, icy steel. No more falling for this kind, handsome, gentleman stuff.


Speaking of “new sides”? Matthew was about to see a “new side” of me.

And so it was that we went to lunch together on that final day.

To his credit, he tried to keep the conversation going by asking questions—to which I replied with basic monosyllabic answers.  Words like “yes” . . . or “no.” Occasionally throwing in a “maybe” for a little variety. But I wasn’t giving this guy anything.

He definitely had his work cut out for him.

I figured he’d be exhausted at the end of this arduous lunch, so I was rather surprised when he suggested we go for a hike after we were finished eating.

Caught off guard, I protested: “But you’re wearing a business suit.”

He countered, “I can change.”

“But you have to go back to work.”

His reply, “I’m taking the afternoon off.”

After about 3 more rounds of that nature, I ran out of excuses and found myself agreeing to go on a hike with him.

(And apparently losing my nomination for my role as The Ice Princess. Drat!)

An Uncommon Love - Lost in the Beauty


Matthew quickly whipped up a plan that involved swinging by his apartment for him to change into casual clothes and then over to my parents’ home where I would change mine.

I don’t know what I expected, but being a “bachelor’s apartment” I guess I thought it would be messy, mismatched, and, well, bachelor-like. But it wasn’t like that at all.

He had attractive and matching furniture. Neat and clean. Tasteful. Lovely art on the walls.

Plus a bookcase packed with an extensive and gorgeous set of books.

Ah, books. My other love.

I felt myself weakening.

So while he went to change in the other room, I lovingly handled volume after volume.

History, classics, Christian, humor, biographies. So many books, old and new. I recognized a number of my own favorites and spotted a few I’d hoped he’d lend me someday . . . .

Did I just say someday?

And when he emerged in his t-shirt and Levi’s (*small swoon. Hold steady), that’s where he found me.

Lost in the beauty of all his books.

And falling for him.

All over again.

An Uncommon Love - He Loves Me

He Loves Me

I caught my breath as he joined me on the love seat where I had been sitting.

I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this, but there isn’t a whole lot of room on a love seat. It’s quite a cozy little place. For two. And did I mention that it was a love seat . . . ?

Yes, well, and so it was.

He cleared his throat. And then he began . . . .

Something about how much he’d enjoyed the time we’d spent together the past week. How he was going to miss me. And how he wished I never had to leave . . .

I’m not sure if he said anything more after that, but it didn’t really matter.

He loved me. 

And I found myself both thrilled and embarrassed all at the same time. Blushing like a young school girl.

I looked up, barely able to believe the love that was now so evident in his beautiful blue eyes.

Then I stared down at the stack of books in my hands, wriggling in happy discomfort, and teased him a bit, “Well, I’d be more comfortable talking about your books.”

It was all so new and exciting and wonderful!

Neither of us said a word as we made the 15-minute drive over to my parents’ home. We didn’t need to. We had the rest of our lives to talk and share our hearts.

For now, only one thing went repeatedly through my head: He loves me. I can’t believe he loves me, but he truly loves me.

Our real-life love story was about to begin . . .

An Uncommon Love - At the End of the Day

Chapter 12

At the End of the Day: Love

by Matthew L Jacobson

Before the green apartments near Sunset Park in Gresham came into view the frustration/embarrassment of the evening’s end found equilibrium with other thoughts that eventually won me over.

It WAS a great evening . . . nothing changes that. And, there’s still tomorrow.

Yes, tomorrow – Lunch with Lisa. It couldn’t come soon enough.

I fell asleep that night somewhere on the road travelling through time, replaying various moments from the best evening I could remember. “The Plan” was still yet to be realized but that’s okay.


Tomorrow I would stand up and remove any remaining ambiguity (seriously, could there be any?).

The Last Lunch

A light step carried me into my office that momentous morning. Well, certainly it was destined to be momentous, wasn’t it?

“Good morning, Linda,” I smiled.

“Well, good morning, Sir. Looks like you’re getting off to a good start today.”

“Couldn’t be better. Lunch with Lisa,”

“I see,” she said with the pleased air of someone whose plans were going swimmingly.

“Linda, I have a lot to thank you for. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Lisa.”

“She’s a wonderful person. I just knew God wanted the two of you to meet.”

“Let me know when she arrives . . . supposed to be here at 11:30.”

When the office door closed behind me, something unanticipated (but perfectly predictable!) happened to Time. With less willingness to stir than frozen molasses, the seconds begrudgingly moved around the face of the clock, turning minutes into hours.

Will 11:30 ever arrive?

Abiding by the universal axiom that ‘Men in Love do Nothing’ I ambled from my desk to the bookshelf and back again until the carpet threatened to cut a path between the two.

And, another thing . . . people greatly underestimate the discomfort of expensive office chairs to a man in love, waiting. Getting settled was out of the question.

Just then, a knock came through the door. I smiled to myself . . . finally 11:30!

“Come in. Linda. Hey, what’s wrong?” A grave expression clouded my assistant’s typically cheerful countenance.

For a cold moment Linda looked at me before almost whispering,

“Lisa isn’t coming for lunch.”


“She called. She’s not coming.”


“She didn’t say. She just said she’s not coming for lunch today.”

Not coming? What does that mean?

I stared at Linda, gathering my thoughts from the brink of fear.

“You’re wrong.” I announced confidently. “Lisa is coming to lunch because you are going to convince her to come. Call her back and tell her everything is arranged and I am expecting to take her to lunch, as we planned.”

“But, she already said no!” Linda protested. “What am I going to say to her?”

“Not sure.” I said, unhelpfully. “But, one thing is certain. We are going to lunch together, today. So, please go, call Lisa and let her know. We can postpone until 12, no later.”

“I don’t know what to say. What am I supposed to say?” she pleaded.

“I don’t know what you’re going to say either. You’ll think of something. Just get her here.”

Linda backed out of the office, mouth open, ready to object but knowing there was no use.

That call was going to be made!

Moments later, she returned . . .

“She’s coming.”

“Of course she is.” I agreed. “That wasn’t so bad, was it? You should trust me on these things.”

Linda rolled her eyes, shook her head, and headed back to her office thinking, I’m not sure what.

Internally, a great sigh of relief dissipated through my pores. For all my outward confidence and certainty, I wasn’t sure how that phone call would go.

If only I could get her here I could win her over and now, she was coming! Whew!

An Uncommon Love - The Ice Princess Arrives

 The Ice Princess Arrives

As the clock prepared to strike 12, I became aware of an atmospheric change in my office. Having been raised in British Columbia and having spent several years on the Yukon border, I had had much experience with Arctic breezes.

Before the door to my office began to open I could feel it, literally. The chilly fingers of resistance pushed away everything warm, inviting and natural. Then she appeared, like a statue of frozen steel, her eyes clear as ice and twice as cold. “I’m not doing this anymore” wafted into and covered everything in the room.

Wow, major change. But what changed from last night? I’m positive she would have accepted my kiss if things . . . if things turned out differently.

I like a challenge.

Seriously, I’m going to enjoy this, I told myself.

“Hello! It’s so great to see you again. Ready for lunch?” I beamed. It’s just a matter of time. I’ll win her over.

“I’m not really hungry but, if you want to go, that’s fine.”

What? Never mind, it will be fine. Just keep the conversation moving.

But that was the trouble. Keeping a conversation going requires more than one person and no matter what I did, said, suggested, or how I queried, expressed interest, asked about this or that . . . nothing. Frozen steel, as it turns out, is basically unresponsive and just barely polite (which is being generous).

For all my initial amusement at this façade of disinterest, I began to sense that something deeper was at work. I knew Lisa had been to college. Had she majored in the art of dead-end conversation? Magna Cum Laude, for sure.

The forty minutes we had been together had yielded next to nothing and holding up both ends of any conversation eventually weighs down both parties until silence prevails.

What was going on?

This was bizarrely uncharacteristic. Lisa’s relational armor was impervious to every creative appeal.

I began to panic.

Look buddy, you better make some kind of a move because this train is headed for the canyon with no bridge.

What should I do? 

After a more than awkward silence picking at our food, I blurted out,

“You like hiking don’t you?”

“Well . . . yes.”

“Perfect! Let’s go for a hike. You’d like to go for a hike (I had no idea where) wouldn’t you? Let’s go.” (It wasn’t as if I was asking her to spend the weekend on some remote island, or anything!)

“Ugh . . . I thought you had a job. What about that.”

“My job? Don’t worry. That can wait. We need to go for a hike. Look at the weather. You couldn’t find a better day for a hike, could you. Let’s go!”

And with that, I threw down some money and ushered Lisa to the car.

A Fool or a King

First we’d head to my apartment so I could change and then over to her parents where she could change.

Deep breath . . . Disaster averted.

I left Lisa in the living room while I changed clothes in my bedroom, knowing – and especially feeling it was “crunch time”.

The mirror looked back at me as I pulled on a tee shirt. Now’s the time. You have to declare your love for her. She’s leaving tomorrow. Tell her. Open up to her. Tell her how you truly feel.

It was settled. Before we left my apartment, it would all be out on the table.

Lisa Michelle, you are the woman I love.

Entering the living room, Lisa turned from the bookcase, a softer aspect than before greeting my return. Alive with the intensity of the one moment I had waited my life for I indicated the sofa with an open hand and we sat, facing each other. After a few moments of gathered thoughts I looked into her eyes, embarking on that no-return journey every suitor must travel alone, at the end of which he walks away a fool or a king.

“Lisa, there’s something I want you to know . . . something I have wanted to tell you ever since Monday evening. I’ve enjoyed these past few days like no others I have known, like I never knew I ever would. And, I’m so sorry you are to leave so soon. I’m going to miss you the moment we part. I wish you could stay longer.”

A deep breath rushed down into my nervous lungs. But, I did it. I had said it. Now, the moment of silence followed by the moment of truth . . .

Lisa smiled, sort of . . . somewhat . . . What was she going to say? How would she answer my declaration of love?

I leaned forward, slightly, eager to hear her every word.

And then she said it  . . . that phrase that changed everything.

“Well, I’d be more comfortable talking about your books.”

I am never speechless. Nearly always I can think of something to say.

I could not.

I was dumbfounded.


Instantly, desperately, dangerously insecure. That ‘fool or King’ thing was ringing in my ears and not the “King” part.

WHAT? WHAT DID SHE SAY? MY BOOKS? SO, I MAKE YOU UNCOMFORTABLE? Don’t worry, I know just what to do!

Have you ever noticed how wrong you can be about God’s will? One moment you’re cock-sure what God is doing and the next instant, the exact opposite emerges.

How could I have been so wrong, so completely, stupidly, blindly WRONG??

Of course, not a hint of the bloody riot going on in my chest and head was evident. No, I was too sophisticated for that.

“Great! Well, we should be going. If we’re not careful, the afternoon will get away on us.”

Matthew Leonard Jacobson, you are such a fool.

An Uncommon Love - I'm Outta Here

 Second Thoughts

Absolute silence descended on the fifteen-minute drive to Lisa’s parent’s place. My heart was crawling out of my throat.

My books!! I had some serious recalculations to make in short order. For one thing how, exactly, did I wind up in a car having agreed to go on a hike with a woman who clearly can’t stand the sight of me? Just unbelievable!

What is she doing – staring out the window with that smug expression? So, you got your dig in . . . books . . . nice! Well, one thing is certain. There is no way on planet earth I’m going on a hike with her.

And with that, I conspired with my Pride to part from her . . . from this unbearably impossible, embarrassing situation for good, the moment we arrived at the next stop.

But, the instant we stopped, Lisa bounded from the car like a startled deer, yet all smiles and dancing.

Move fast, man!

We met at the front of the car in an odd juxtaposition to the night before when I so ardently wanted to kiss her.

“Lisa, I’ve been thinking. Things have been moving pretty fast . . . too fast, really and let’s be honest, we hardly know each other. So, I think it would be best if we didn’t go on this hike because we . . .”

“Okay, I’ll be down in a minute,” She smiled. Then, calling over her shoulder, “Just wait on the deck. I’ll be right down.”

“Wait . . . I . . . you . . .”

She completely ignored me. What? Hey, come back here!

I looked down, brow furrowed, attempting like some idiot savant to find a pattern among the randomly scattered gravel.

No, we are not going on this hike! She said she was more comfortable talking about my books. Well, sister, I’m not here to talk about books, okay? I’m outta here.

The glass door opening onto the deck slid to the side and Lisa bounced through the door.

“Okay, ready to go!” she beamed.

By now, clouds hung heavily on my brow. I’m caught between a woman who clearly doesn’t love me and some ridiculous interest to go on a hike. I don’t like the squeeze.

“Look, Lisa, I just think it would be better if we slowed way down from the pace we’ve been keeping. This hike isn’t the best idea I’ve ever had and . .”

“C’mon. Let’s just go for the hike.”

And with that, somehow she coerced me back into the car. How did this happen?

In defense mode . . . more accurately, pride defense mode . . . I can be ugly. And I was.

Comfortable? What that the operative word?

As we headed into the foothills toward the old logging road that would serve as the trailhead, I made full use of Lisa’s words to drive home my sarcasm in a twisted attempt to salvage my bleeding ego.

“So, Lisa, is the temperature in the car to your liking? I certainly wouldn’t want you to be . . . uncomfortable?”

“Hey, Lisa, look at that beautiful farm house. Of course, you probably wouldn’t be comfortable living in a house like that.”

“Well, what should we talk about? Might be kind of hard to find a topic that doesn’t make you uncomfortable.”

“How’s my driving speed? I’m just so concerned you remain comfortable.

Etc., etc., etc.,

At the first few comments, Lisa laughed, trying to find the thread of the “joke” but before long, she began to realize the biting sarcasm’s intended target. By the time we arrived, I could see I had been victorious in my petty, squalid, little war. Her spirit was deflated.

My flesh, in full flourish embodied the Scripture, “In my flesh dwelleth no good thing.” It was all so very wrong.

But, that’s what hurting people do . . . they hurt people.

Roe deer

At the Forest’s Edge

There it was, the road we were to hike. By now, both of us wondered why we were there, walking up some random forest trail with someone who doesn’t want to be there.

In moments, a clearing opened its verdant arms before us where new saplings grew out of ancient tree stumps – fresh life from yesterday’s sacrifice. A stirring halfway across the meadow arrested our attention. Eight to ten deer, startled at our intrusion, bounded the entire length of the clearing, passing like spirits through trees at the forest’s edge.

We stood gazing after them, mesmerized by a moment that had instantly filled the space in which we now stood alone, and together, with the essence of transcendent beauty.

And suddenly, there we were face to face, hidden in the forest somewhere in the foothills of Mt. Hood, two spirits desiring, yet fearful of mingled fire.

In that moment, I marveled how we without any apparent effort or intention suddenly appeared facing one another, like apparitions, inches apart. How did this happen? And then, with calm, settled assurance, I knew again what I had known from the beginning.

With total sincerity and devoid of any hint of the sarcasm that had so lately soiled our communication, I said to this beautiful woman,

“Lisa Michelle, I know what I would like to do right now but I hesitate because, in all honesty, I have literally no idea whether or not you would be comfortable with it.”

There is a certain place into each other’s soul only lovers can see. While meeting my gaze into that expanse, she said,

“It’s your move.”

I moved!

I leaned in to kiss the woman I loved.

 Song of Songs

It was the worst kiss in the history of kissing.

Our teeth clunked together like two blocks of concrete. A burst of unrestrained laughter from us both rang through the meadow but soon gave way to a gentler attempt more in keeping with the Song of Songs.

“You know what this means, don’t you?” I asked, fear having fled with the deer, now confident of her response.

“Of course I do.”

We walked through the clearing holding hands, down the trail and to the car holding hands. Winding down the mountain road, we held hands. We couldn’t, didn’t want to, let go.

We still don’t want to.

And if, per chance, you happen to go somewhere with us today, you’ll not have gone far before you see me reach over and slip my hand comfortably into the waiting hand of my beautiful bride.

The End

(Or maybe more rightly, “The Beginning”)

Matthew and Lisa Jacobson in 1992


Matthew and I married a few short months later on a beautiful September Day in Portland, Oregon. We’ve been blessed with 8 children and a loving, lasting marriage for which we thank our God and Savior. We quietly celebrated our 22nd anniversary this year and hope for many more together. And, yes, we’re still holding hands.

Matthew and Lisa Jacobson 2014

We’ve often been asked to share this story of how we met and—while it is a wonderful love story—we always add that we’d have done a few things differently, if we knew then what we know now. We’ve encouraged our own children (and others) to consider waiting until marriage for their first kiss. For Matthew’s article on this topic, read Why Christian Kids Should Save Kissing (and other things) for Marriage. Another excellent article, Why “No” Kissing Before Marriage by Alison Wood. More on dating & courtship here: The Essential Do’s and Don’ts of Courtship and Dating.

An Uncommon Love - A 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
*Chapter Six: The Night I Fell In Love
* Chapter Seven: 1,000 Ways to Win Her Heart
*Chapter Eight: A Gift for the Woman I Love
*Chapter Nine: When Love is Silent
*Chapter Ten: What’s In a Kiss?

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*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).