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
*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).

The Best Answer If You’re Ever Invited on an Adventure (An Uncommon Love: Chapt.5}

An Uncommon Love - The Best Answer If You're Ever Invited on an Adventure

*Here’s Chapter 5 of An Uncommon Love – our true-life love story. If you’re new here, you can catch up by reading Chapter OneChapter Two, Chapter Three, and Chapter Four.  

Waiting has never been my strong point.

Seems so useless. Time wasted.

And, what’s worse, makes me feel helpless.

Yet I found myself waiting for two whole days.  Waiting for him to call.

What a rotten deal.

Here I’d known since Friday night at that life-changing dinner party that this was the guy I was going to marry and – as I was staying in town for only eight days – why would we throw away two of those precious days?

Or to be more precise, why was he throwing them away?

And if I was so certain he was the man for me . . . what was taking him so long to realize that I was the woman for him?

 All Grown Up Now

So he finally called.

Late Sunday night and I answered in my best attempt at a nonchalant voice.

“Hello, Matthew! Monday night? Dinner and a movie. Hmm….let me think. Yes, well, that should work fine. See you then.”

Click.

Good thing he couldn’t see my heart pounding over the phone. He couldn’t see my eyes sparkling, or my toes wiggling in happy anticipation either.

Ridiculous.

I mean, I wasn’t a child anymore. I was 26 and all grown up. And he was a grown man at 31 years.

You understand, don’t you? We’re not talking about a couple of young kids here. The stakes were high now and we couldn’t afford a mere “crush.”

We were both looking for the Real Deal.

Yes, this was big stuff with serious consequences. I needed to get a grip and approach this thing from a mature perspective.

So why wouldn’t my feet stop from dancing . . . ?

An Uncommon Love - Chapter 5

Chopsticks and Life in Little Saigon

I shouldn’t have been surprised.

Although he couldn’t possibly have known beforehand that I was crazy for Thai food, he picked out this wonderful little hole-in-the-wall restaurant that just happened to serve the tastiest Thai food in Portland.

It was a smart move.

Then I’m not sure how the conversation began, but I believe it was when he remarked how adept I was with using chopsticks. So he asked me about it. And that got me started.

I told him about how I had been living for the past two years with a Vietnamese family down in Little Saigon, a Vietnamese community in Southern California. About the church there. The fun and gracious people. Then all about these youth that I loved so much.

How they affectionately called me Mi Trang. 

How I taught them to sing “Our God Reigns” and “Lamb of God”.

And how they had introduced me to chopsticks and the wonders of eating phở, the best Vietnamese soup in the world.

How they had captured my heart.

But I quickly caught myself. What was I doing? How could I go on and on like that? Pouring out my story in such a way. Without pausing for breath or stopping to consider.

I shut my mouth and looked up at him. Wondering if I had scared him away with all my passionate enthusiasm.

And that’s when I saw it.

This guy across the table from me was completely engaged and listening. Truly listening. He didn’t seem bored at all. He actually seemed interested in my thoughts, my experiences, and how I felt about life.

He was genuinely interested in me.

An Uncommon Love - Hanging Out in Little Saigon

The Best Answer

My cheeks felt suddenly flushed – and it wasn’t merely the hot peppers that made it so.

As if he could sense my discomfort, he picked up where I had trailed off. He began sharing some of his own adventures of speeding across the Autobahn in Germany. Trekking through the bush near the Yukon border of Northern Canada. And spending a summer sailing through the Gulf Islands.

And that’s when he popped the question.

Oh, no, not THE QUESTION.

Just the question.

Hey, why don’t you come with me? What would you say to going with me to a small island in British Columbia where good friends of mine are staying for a few days? They’re on holiday and it’s beautiful there. I know you’d love it.”

I never even blinked.

I simply said, “Yes! I’d love to go with you.”

And we continued the conversation as if it was just the kind of thing we did. You know, sail off to small islands together. Him and me.

Because when the Right Guy asks you to go on an adventure with him?

You say YES.

(Unless you’re one of my daughters and then you say, Okay, but I have to ask my parents first…and they’ll probably have to pray about it. But thanks for asking.)

But all I said was yes.

Yes, I will go with you.

To the ends of the earth. (Except I didn’t add that last part – not aloud, anyway.)

Sailing for a Small Island

We left the restaurant without saying much more to each other. Each of us lost in our own thoughts. My thoughts mostly swirling around a small island off the coast of Canada.

A place I’d never been to.

With a man I’d only just met.

He drove us over to the cinema and we caught a late showing of some popular movie. Not that I remember anything about it.

I mean, how can you concentrate on a romantic comedy . . . when you’ve just begun living your very own? (The comedy part is still yet to come.)

It was well past midnight by the time he dropped me off at my parents’ home. Although the hour was late and I was drop-dead-tired, for some reason I had a difficult time drifting off to sleep that night.

He loves me . . . He loves me not . . . He loves me . . .

Or not?

As for Matthew, he went home and called his good friend from college and told him . . .

Well, I should really let him tell you what he said. Because it’s very important.

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

In His grace,
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*Hint: That phone call is one of my favorite parts of our story! :)

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

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

Keeping the Lines of Communication Open {& Why It’s So Vital in Marriage}

Keeping the Lines of Communication Open - And Why It's So Vital in Marriage
Something’s wrong,”  my husband said.

How does he do that, I wondered.

My husband can take one look at me or catch a certain tone in my voice and he knows something is troubling me.

After 14 years of marriage, we communicate very well — without words.

“Yes,” I answered with a smile. “There is something wrong, but I don’t want to bring you into it.”

“What? Why not?” He asked with complete surprise.

I struggled to find the right words to express to him that sometimes I’m not sure if telling my troubles to my husband is the best thing — even those personal struggles with feeling pretty or good enough for him.

But, I knew he was right.

There really wasn’t any reason to keep things from my husband. We are one flesh, aren’t we? We are traveling this road called together, aren’t we?

After a few moments of silence, I let him in on my troubles; troubles, that to some, seem small and insignificant, but to my husband, they weren’t.

Why? Because they were my troubles and he wanted to work through them with me.

My husband and I have faced some rocky roads together. Sometimes it was his personal trials, sometimes it was mine. There were other times when our entire family was suffering and we needed to communicate with each other.

We need to bear each other’s burdens. In fact, God commands it.

Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Galations 6:2

We Are Traveling This Road Called Together

Enjoying A Deep, Strong Marriage

Keeping the lines of communication open, honest, and yet loving has helped my husband and I enjoy a deep, strong marriage. It’s not just infatuation or puppy love. but, it’s a marriage based on God’s word and communication.

In fact, communicating and working through our difficulties together has made us a stronger team.

Many times I see a pattern in our marriage. Typically, when I am down, he is up, and when he is down, I am up. There always seemed to be at least one of us that can offer some encouragement and comfort. I am so glad I do not have to travel this journey alone for now. I have a husband, that when I communicate my innermost sorrows, he is there to lift me up.

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Ecc.4:9-10

Though communication is vital in a marriage, there are times when silence is best — particularly when our tongue desires to criticize or tear down our husbands.

Yes, it’s best not to communicate in those times, but rather pray.

Our tongues will only worsen the situation. When our hearts are full of love and kindness, then we can seek to encourage our husbands.

In recent days, I have had a lot of drama and emotional situations come my way. I have been so thankful that I had a caring person to listen, arms to hold and comfort me and a spiritual leader to direct my footsteps.

Do you ever have those days where it seems a small part of your world gets turned upside down?

Don’t hide those situations from your husband. Let him in to your world. Let him have those hidden pieces of your heart.

As I look back over the past 14 years of my marriage, I am so thankful that I have kept the lines of communication open with my husband. Instead of telling a girlfriend or my mom, there were many times when I only told two people — God and my husband.

If the lines of communication in your marriage are down, try opening them back up by letting your husband be “in the know” with struggles, victories and issues that are present in your life.

Keeping them from him will only push him away.

You may be surprised at the relief, support and close-knit relationship you’ll enjoy from communicating!

alison

Alison Wood is a mom of six kiddos, wife to one amazing husband, church-planting missionary in Southeast Asia and a parenting writer for online magazines. She encourages wives and moms at Pint-sized Treasures. Follow her there!

Alison is also the author of the very encouraging 25 Days to a Happier Home - a 25-day challenge that will help you create a happy home for your family.

*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).