10 Years Ago Today: Marriage Proposal

It was a Friday night and Marisa took a train from Florence to Rome, where I had lived for about 7 months already.  We had already talked about marriage.  She was actually the one who purchased her ring!  Yep, she wanted what she wanted.  And because of a mix-up at the jeweler, she ended up bringing it with her on the train that night.  I had visited Florence a few weeks before with the intent of taking the ring home and making plans from there.  Anyway, she knew it would happen this weekend but didn’t know at what point.

This is the picture that prompted a mutual friend/matchmaker to declare that we should get married and have beautiful blue-eyed children, which led to pranking her, which led to actually dating

You can read about how we began dating here and here and here.

She arrived by train and I think there were train problems which led to her arriving later than expected.  She wasn’t on the first train that I expected her to be on.

She got in late and we put her bags in a locker and headed downtown.

When we got to the Trevi Fountain, I asked two American tourists to take a picture of us.  I then let them in on the secret.  I told them I was going to propose and for them to take as many pictures as possible.  They were thrilled to witness and help.

I did the one knee thing and a more or less prepared speech (when we returned to a friend’s apartment later that evening where Marisa would be sleeping while in Rome, I had a card with the proposal speech already written down).

It was an exciting night. I didn’t want to remove the pictures of me proposing from our albums so here is one that I took that same night.

minutes after the proposal

The most amazing part of this True story was that she did not want a diamond ring. She chose a gold band for the engagement, engraved with the date and her first name, and then added a gold band for the wedding which was engraved with our last name plus the wedding date.  She decided to forgo the diamond in hopes of getting a couch/furniture earlier on in our marriage. That’s my wife!  I love her.  This Fall we will celebrate 10 years of marriage.

P.S.-It took about five years but she finally got her furniture.


Overheard in Tulsa

Actual quotes and tweets overheard during the Tulsa Workshop this year:

  • “the issue with prayer is not faith but submission”–Randy Harris
  • “there is a time to be obedient to bad decisions in order to learn obedience” -Randy Harris
  • “We don’t assemble so that God will like us for another week” -Patrick Mead
  • “We can never restore that which God never gave us” -Patrick Mead
  • Rick Atchley on Luke 15-Prodigal Son (one of my favs of the week)
    • “We do we always write people out of God’s story”
    • “Why does Jesus party with the wrong kind of people?”
    • “The way we portray our faith is a direct reflection of our portrait of God”
  • “God was the first risk-taker” -Trey Morgan
  • “Grace is not ‘gap insurance'” -Al Maxey
  • “If creating a Christian nation could be accomplished, we would all be Israelites” -Jeff Walling
  • “Jesus gave God what He had always wanted but never received” -Edward Fudge
  • “Does worship make one holy or does holiness make one worship?”- Chris Gallagher
  • “chicken barf”-one of the Sanders boys
  • “@rustydush meeting you was one of my highlights, right after stealing a hair of Randy Harris for my scrapbook.”-Steve Tucker
  • “This morning, Krispy Kreme donuts. If they kill me, I’ll see Jesus, if I survive, I’ll see Patrick Mead. Win-win” -Steve Tucker
  • “Your tweeps will be my tweeps, whither thou tweeteth I shall retweet” -John dobbs
  • “It’s because ‘I’m HOT’!” -Amanda Sanders
  • Coffee? anyone got coffee?  COOFFFEEEEEEE!” -Trent Tanaro

What did I leave out?

What a Ride! Tulsa 2010

What a ride, indeed!  And I am not even referring to my travel experiences.

The Tulsa Workshop was great.  I needed it.  The speakers were maybe half of it.  The fellowship the other half.

While not growing up in a perfect family, there were three preachers and each one was a joke-teller and occasional cut-up.  My family liked to laugh.  Laughter helped us through hard times.  I feel so bad for the people (Christians or not) who have only met sober, stone-faced preachers who never crack a smile unless they are preaching on hell and damnation.

I am so glad that so many of the crazy preachers I have met online and got to visit with in Tulsa are also Christians who like to laugh and joke.  My  face physically hurt on numerous occasions after joking and telling stories around a table.  I believe years were added to my life.  That’s probably the strength that helped me get through another interesting day of travel on Sunday.

But these men aren’t just comics and jokesters.  We prayed together.  We prayed with total strangers.  We encouraged one another in our faith.  We worshipped together and learned together.  We talked about the great lessons we heard from other godly men we might not know as well.

Tulsa gives me a great picture of a great family that I wish all churches could emulate. Eating together often.  Sharing our lives.  Serving together.  Excited about worship and hearing God’s Word.

I don’t know if I will be back next year, but I will be back at some point.

God bless you all.  I can’t wait to see you again.  And if there is a rowdy and obnoxious table in Heaven, I can’t wait to see you there, too.

Stay tuned.  More Tulsa blogging to come all week.

My favorite boy in the world is 6 today

Birthday Boy

We had a crazy birthday party on Saturday.  The church sang to him yesterday. Mom is taking cupcakes to school today.  That’s a lot of partying for one boy

There was an Autobot Cake (good guys) and a Decepticon Cake (bad guys).  We had some Transformer-themed games my wife found on the internet.  The kids were hyper but had a good time.  We also played Hullabaloo.

Here’s the whole gang who were able to attend.

My Inquisitive Almost-6-year-old Son

My boy turns 6 next Monday and he is awesome.  I am going to be a daddyblogger today.  As I have tweeted lately, he has been full of questions.  Some deep.  Mostly humorous.  And I need to share.

Some questions come at the dinner table.  My wife prefers not to pray at meals, so I do when the kids won’t. Recently, my boy wanted his mom to pray.  She explained that Dad is the leader of the family, etc. etc. and as I was beaming with pride and joy at my wife’s comments, the boy replied to his mother, “but I thought you were the leader of our family.”  Ouch!  My wife found that more amusing than I did.  But we did continue to explain that we both are leaders in different ways.

Also at dinner time, out of nowhere while eating:  “Dad, so how many days til you die?”  I managed not to choke on my food and die right there.  I told him I didn’t know.  And that people often die when they are really old or really sick.  He was fine with that and didn’t ask anything else.  I hope he hasn’t been talking to my doctor and knows something I don’t.

The other recent questions were during the worship assembly (in church).  He was sitting on my lap last Sunday and asked me, “Why do you always preach?”  I replied, “It’s what I do.”  I might have said more if not for the setting but I did want to respond.  But he had a follow-up question:  “Why don’t the other boys ever do it?”  I am not sure if he is just tired of hearing me or is he concerned about the growth and development of the “boys” in the church.

Then, moments later after a communion prayer, he says, “did Jesus die or not?”  I don’t know if that was spurred by something in the prayer or not but I explained that Jesus did die, he came back to life, it was a miracle, and now he is with God in Heaven.

So as the plates were passing for the communion, and as he is holding his dollar in his hand waiting for the collection he asked this follow-up question:  “How does God get the money?”