His Side of Our Story: Making A Move

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*** And so, our story continues…from my husband’s perspective.

As we neared the Thanksgiving break, I decided to email her.

ME: Hello,

      I am free after school to help you with the kids, if you still need help.

Your move.

HER: The kids would need help and they would greatly appreciate your expertise.

Hmm. Ok. The kids? Why are we talking about them? Well, I showed up after school and she promptly escorted me to the copy machine. The kids needed copies. So, after standing over the dumpy, chugging copy machine for an hour, I returned to my future wife making fun of my last name—our last name.

I could tell I was going to have to pick up the pace.

ME: I think it’s best that you give me your number, so we can work out the details for practice more easily.

She relented—hesitantly.

The minute I had her number, I texted her and asked her if she wanted to get some coffee after practice.

HER: I don’t drink coffee.

ME: How about a muffin? They have delicious muffins. Coffee cake.

HER: Is this a date?

ME: It is a professional outing.

HER: Are we going to discuss the National Academic League?

ME: Of course.

Of course, I had no attention of discussing the National Academic League, the kids, the croaking copier, the school, books, reading or any of the like. I wanted to know about her. I wanted to let the warm fireplace and soft acoustic guitar of the coffee shop take us away.

So, on a sunny and frosty day in December, we drove separately to our “first date.” And in the back room—a box of sunlight—we sat across from each other and talked.

In the toasty sanctuary of the cafe, my future wife refused my offer of a coffee cake muffin and looked at every beverage option as if it were poison. Yet, once we sat down, we had instant chemistry.

Talking was easy and we seemed to play off each other, to know how to load each other’s punch lines. The conversation was light and we quickly started to form a long list of inside jokes.

It seemed only natural that we go on another “date.”

The thing was we couldn’t call it a date because we were coworkers. It would be “inappropriate” to go on a date, so we settled for a “professional outing.”

I hardly knew what that meant under the circumstances, but she seemed more comfortable with that. So, I set about looking for a perfect location for our professional outing.

Settling on a restaurant that seemed like casual fine dining, I made my move.

 

His Side of Our Story: A Chance Encounter

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***There are two sides to every story, right? Well, my husband will be telling his side of our story in the next upcoming posts, including this one. Just in case you missed previous posts, I have them all uploaded here! Now, on with the rest of his story…. 

After a series of meetings and professional developments that woman from the parking lot had caught my eye. She was always saying something funny, lighting up the room and distracting me from the gargantuan task of being a first-year teacher in a new city.

Then, one day, a few months into the school year, I was walking down the stairs in a daze and we crossed paths.

To cut to the end, the woman in question is now my wife. In the midst of my soon-to-be wife confronting one of my most challenging students, I was transfixed. She was holding her phone in one hand and gesturing emphatically with the other, which held a box of pizza. The student in question almost knocked her over running down the stairs.

I spoke, “She is in my homeroom –”

That was about all I got out.

My wife-in-waiting looked at me with enough cold indifference to kill a fresh bed of prairie sunflowers.

“And? Why are they coming down the stairs unattended? Is there a procedure for leading the kids to lunch in 8th grade?”

Her beautiful face seem to say, “Who are you and why are you talking?

She had turned her sights on me.

Oh, let me explain, I thought.

I was about to say that the girl was in my homeroom, but I had not brought her down the stairs. I had brought another class down the stairs and that I thought I did OK with escorting them down said stairs and that they only seemed to jog rather than run full speed downhill and, no, we had no idea what we were doing in 8th grade, but…

In the middle of this thought, she turned her back on me and walked away. The student followed her.

Alone, I stood there for a second. Checked the time. To follow up this Category Five disaster and 6-foot subterranean banishment, I ran upstairs and told my colleague that I had encountered the most heavenly woman on Earth.

And, I had decided then that I would take her to the only place I knew, the coffee shop down the street from my house.

There was not seemingly an easy way to get her on a date. She was an established teacher – popular and confident and frequently wearing high-heeled boots. Yet, the Lord made a way for an opening.

She was the coach for the National Academic League. I was surprised I didn’t figure this out since the information was advertised on every school announcement and teacher meeting. In one of these meetings, she appealed to the teachers at the school to assist the students in learning facts and skills that would be crucial during their matches.

This was my moment. God had combed the waves asunder before me. I put my foot down and took my first step toward my destiny.

His Side of Our Story: A New City

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***There are two sides to every story, right? Well, my husband will be telling his side of our story in the next upcoming posts, including this one. I asked him to write up his interpretation of how we met and submit it to me, kind of like how I solicited his help with my NAL team…heehee! Just in case you missed previous posts, I have them all uploaded here! Enjoy! Oh, just in case you haven’t done so already, check out the About Me section of the blog to get to know more about me, ya dig? Now, on with his story….

I had moved into a homey section of a new city. It was a small section of the city, not far from where I worked.

In the area, there was a cafe. I would often frequent there as I worked on a long project. The owner was a kind woman who struck up conversations with seemingly everyone.  While, the clientele was a group of local families who all knew each other. From bits and pieces of overheard conversation, it seemed like many of the families who frequented the cafe went to a nearby catholic school. In turn, on Saturdays, the environment was intolerable. A bellicose world of people sipping tea, innocent smiles, loose children, people catching up and “oh, I haven’t seen you in so long” conversations.

You see, I was from nowhere. That was what I preferred. I wanted to work and have a conversation that left as little of a memory behind as possible. I wanted my espresso and my coffee cake muffin and then to be left alone permanently.

I had intended this new city to be no different than Buenos Aires. I had lived in the Paris of South America for 18-months and made no friends, spoke to people only to order empanadas and pretended to be deaf in one instance when I encountered another stray traveler from the United States. I understood only English in a room of people speaking Spanish. For most people, this would be some form of torture, but, for me, it was peaceful.

There is nothing wrong with me. I can have normal conversations when prompted. I am amiable. I am good-natured. I can be gotten along with. I can make small talk. I am not peevish or awkward. However, to be honest, at some point, making friends seemed troublesome. This difficulty occurred around the time my parents divorced. I became malcontent with all relationships and maybe ended some unfairly. Nonetheless, I isolated my life and buried myself in what I was good at—writing.

So, I intended to treat this place like Buenos Aires. That plan was working fine, until I bumped into a woman at my job in the parking lot.

To be continued…

Real Love Will Always Find You (Part 3)

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***If you haven’t already done so, check out the About Me section of the blog. For the next 13 weeks, I will be writing about how my husband and I met. I will be switching up the format for the posts. Instead of W.O.R.D. it will be R.O.W.D. to help my stories flow a lil’ betta. Ok? Cool? Now, on with the story…

R One morning in November 2010, I played Kirk Franklin’s album “The Fight Of My Life” as I always did to start the school day. I remember the song “Hide Me” playing in the background while I planned my lesson. Tears started to flow from my eyes (my eyes are watering now as I am typing this). The beautiful lyrics ministered to my heart:

You’re making me stronger now (It don’t feel good right now, but I had to realize)

You’re making me stronger now (It’s necessary, you’re trying to grow me up)

You’re making me stronger now (You’re taking away everything that’s not like You, Jesus)

You’re making me stronger now (It’s that breaking process, yall)

You’re making me stronger now (Your delay is not a denial, I realize)

You’re making me stronger now (You love me too much to give me too much, Jesus)

You’re making me stronger now (Your plan is perfect even when I am not, I realize)

You’re making me stronger now (I can’t rely on my own strength this time y’all)

My face was wet with tears and I didn’t have any MAC to fix my makeup. In the middle of wiping my face with Kleenex, my instructional aide walked through the door. She was always on time for work, but she was unusually early that day. Embarrassed, I tried to get myself together, but it was obvious that I had been crying.

She was always warm and friendly. We talked often, but mostly about the kids. Though on this day, the conversation went in a different direction. I suppose discernment led her to talk with me on a personal level. God gave her a word just for me. And I knew it was from God because she said a lot of things concerning my personal life that I had never mentioned to her before. I was shocked! It was like she knew about EVERYTHING I was going through. That’s how I knew it was God speaking to me through her.

Full of wisdom, she encouraged me to keep following the Lord. She thanked me for all that I did for the kids and the school. Told me to keep doing good. I remember her saying these exact words, “God hears and sees you…the Lord has a special blessing for you. God is going to send you a husband. Be patient. Believe. He is going to do it. Just wait and see!” I smiled and received everything she said.

We talked awhile longer before the students arrived. She invited me to attend a revival service at her church. Wanna know something crazy? It would be the same church where my future husband and I would get married. I know! I know! Wild, right? (Blushing) I am just amazed at how God does things… (smh) mind blowing!

********************************************************************************

Fast forward to Thanksgiving break. Wolverine sent me an email. This time it wasn’t about NAL. He wanted to take me out on a date. If you’ve been following the blog you know, I don’t do the whole “mess around with the co-worker” thing. When it comes to business, my personal life is off limits!

But he persisted and persisted and persisted. I finally agreed. HOWEVER, I made it clear to him that it WAS NOT A DATE! It would be a “professional outing.” So, on December 2nd we went to grab a cup of coffee at a local cafe.

O-M- to the G! We instantly clicked. He was the coolest and kindest guy I had ever met! (Awwwww…my eyes are watering again!) Funny thing is: I felt like I had known him my whole life. The conversation was natural—we literally talked about everything! The chemistry between us was so perfect that it was scary. I remember us laughing a lot and him being time enough for my feistiness! I enjoyed his company. We ended the professional outing with a “thank you for the coffee” and a “you’re welcome!”

I got home and started planning my lesson for the next day. As I was emailing myself the materials, another message from Wolverine popped up in my inbox. He wanted to know if I would like to get dinner tomorrow after school…you know, a second professional outing! Shaking my head and smiling, I told him I would get back to him.

The following day, was Friday. Friday’s were always fun, but super hectic. Between teaching lessons, grading assignments, taking the kids to Fun Friday activities, conferencing with parents, meeting with my team, and completing paperwork, I was beat!

After dismissal, I picked up my phone. I noticed a text from Wolverine, asking again if I was up for getting a bite to eat. I had forgotten all about that. Shoot! There was no way I was leaving the school by 4 p.m. ‘cause I had so much to do! UGH!

So, I didn’t respond to his text.

In passing, I told my instructional aide about the text message. She was like, “You should go! Get out of here. Enjoy yourself! You work late every day. Take a break…go out and have some fun!”

I told her I couldn’t cause I had too much work that needed to be done before I left for the day. But she told me again to “leave that work for Monday. Get to know him…give him a chance.”

I explained to her how I felt about mixing my professional life with my personal life. Yet, she continued to push me to go.

I thought about what she said: It would be another “professional outing”. I would eat and then leave. Nothing more…nothing less. I would hang out for a little bit and go home.

So, I texted him back.

And I met up with him for dinner…my life would never be the same.

I knew real love had found me.

Signed, MrsMKauthor

P.S. Hear his side of the story in tomorrow’s post…

O Remember that list with the red checks from my previous post? Man, he was all that and some more! LOL! Of course, it took some time for me to know this. I would check off each “qualification” after each time we hung out.

And hung out was what we did! We would frequent Panera, coffee shops, malls, museums…we had a blast! Everything was cool. Everything was chill. Everything was real. Everything felt right. It was destiny.

I wonder where I would be today had I not listened to the advice from my wise instructional aide? I wonder what my life would’ve been like if I wouldn’t have gone on that dinner date…oops!  I meant professional outing?

I wonder what would’ve happened if I had listened to the negative thoughts in my head that were pushing me not to hang out with him? The discouraging thoughts that told me 1.) you shouldn’t be hanging out with your co-worker, 2.) real love doesn’t exist, and 3.) he’s handsome, but not necessarily your type.

I am glad that I stepped out on faith and gave him a chance. In time, God revealed to me that he was what Boaz meant to Ruth. What Isaac was to Abraham and Sarah. My blessing.

He was the ONE.

My advice: Wait on the promise. Don’t settle for counterfeits because real love (and other blessings) will always find you.

 W Proverbs 3:5-6 New International Version (NIV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

D Dear God, I thank You for all that you have done for me. Words cannot express how grateful I am. Your Word is true: for all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen. I give You honor and glory not just for what You have done in my life, but for who You are! May You get the glory and honor out of my marriage. I pray that our story will bless each and every person that reads it in such a way that they will be encouraged to trust You with everything that concerns them.

In Jesus name, Amen