Tag Archives: Marriage

How I met my Husband


I thought in lieu of Valentine’s Day I would share how I met my husband :).

Dan and I met on the battlefield…er…football field. We were both teenagers at the time. I had seen him around at youth group, but we ran in different circles. He was a senior, jock, and could bench-press over three hundred pounds (in other words, very large guy!). And I was a freshman: short, shy, and a book nerd.

That winter we both attended the same winter camp. When a spontaneous football game was announced, I was in. I love football and have a secret competitive side. We lined up with our teams. I was on one side, and Dan was on the other. The field was icy and the air brisk cold. The game was two-touch, but with all the ice, it was more like ice-skating meets football.

Halfway during the game, the football was thrown to Dan. The rest of his team had my team blocked. I was the only one who stood between him and the goal. My one thought as he came barreling toward me: he would not get past me.

I meant to two touch him, but instead slipped, grabbed him, and knocked him hard to the ground. Dan looked up at me, astonished. Then he laughed. I grinned back. I had stopped him from scoring.

I held out my hand to help him up off the ground. We spoke for the first time. He called me freight train after that. The years went by and we became good friends. If someone had told me that I would marry the guy I knocked down on that icy field, I would have laughed. Dan was funny and cute, but definitely not my type.

I’m glad God had other plans. Four years later, we went out on our first date, and a year and a half later, married. We still enjoy football, even get out and play it once in a while. And our children love to hear how mommy knocked daddy down when we first met.

That’s my story. Now it’s your turn. How did you meet your significant other?

Should Opposites Attract?

Should opposites attract? Should they date? Marry? Can two people who are opposite in personality have any chance at a happy and successful marriage?

In J.K. Rowling’s latest interview, she revealed to the world that she believes Harry and Hermione should have gotten together and that Ron and Hermione would need counseling. In short, they are too different and she only put them together for the sake of the plot, but in real life, they would never have had a chance at a good relationship.

First, as a writer, I echo the thoughts of my friend: Author, stick to your guns. If this is how the story played out, and this is how you envisioned the end, stick with it. Don’t keep changing afterwards. As your readers we enjoy hearing how you came up with your ideas, but not your second thoughts years after the story is finished. There is a reason you ended it the way you did. It is a good ending. It is now time to move on.

Secondly, just because Ron and Hermione are different doesn’t mean they would need “relationship counseling”. Yes, people who are opposite have a greater predisposition for conflict, but they also have a greater propensity for becoming more than who they are alone.

Case in point: my husband and me. When we became engaged, we took the Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis to see how we matched up. When we walked into the counselor’s office, he showed us Dan’s graph. Without even picking up mine, he simply flipped Dan’s and said that was mine.

Dan and I are complete opposites. In the DISC personality test I am a C, he is an I (“C” is slow paced, task oriented and “I” is fast paced, people oriented). Even in the Myers-Briggs we are complete opposites: I am an ISTJ and Dan is an ENFP. Yes, every letter is different 🙂

We had a lot of conflict at the beginning of our relationship and marriage. But we worked through it. We realized we each view the world differently, have different strengths, and have different weakness. We learned before reacting to sit back and look at each other’s perspective. Then to talk about it. Sometimes I had to walk away and calm down before I could talk about it.

Through the struggles brought on by our different personalities, we each grew as a person. I learned how to see people as more than projects. Dan learned how to be more responsible and why that was important to me. When I worry, I see his confidence and draw strength from that. When he doesn’t see a way to make the money stretch, I show him how we can save in small ways.

After twenty years of friendship and fourteen years of marriage, we have rubbed off the rough edges. Instead of letting our differences drive a wedge between us, we have let them bond us together like two puzzle pieces.

Do we still fight? Yes, just ask our kids. Do we still experience conflict from our different personalities? Yes. But really, who doesn’t? Even those couples with the same disposition still fight.

I believe I have become a better person by being married to Dan, and he has become a better person by being married to me. We have each been stretched beyond ourselves and learned to see the world differently, and that is a good thing.

So can opposites attract? They do all the time. Can they have a good relationship? Yes, and experience life a whole new way through their spouse.


Marriage is like Star Trek

I am a trekkie. I love almost every Star Trek and have watched each series multiple times. I own the complete Deep Space Nine, went to Star Trek the Experience, and have a Vulcan shirt. So it can be no surprise that one day I realized a great way to explain marriage was by using Star Trek.

Now, before I lose you, let me explain. It began with the idea of submission. The moment the “S” word is used, especially in the context of marriage, various emotions and words come to the mind to many people. Doormat, subhuman, inequality. Even I struggled with the concept of submission. Anyone who knows me knows that I am passionate about all people being equal in Christ. But the Bible also clearly states that I am to submit to my husband. How does that work?

This is how: every ship needs a captain. Dan is the “Picard” of our ship (family). But the captain does not do everything himself. He needs a first officer. So I am the “Riker” of the ship (and the one with hair too ;)).

Captain Picard makes the decisions for the Enterprise. He is also accountable to Starfleet. In the same way, Dan is the “captain” of our family and accountable to God for how he runs our family.

Riker is there to support Captain Picard. But that doesn’t mean he follows Picard blindly. There are a couple times he meets with Picard privately to state his objections to what Picard is doing. They meet in the ready room and Riker speaks freely.

Picard, like a good captain, listens to his first officer. He values the input of his first officer. There are times that Riker is right and it was a good thing Riker spoke up. In the same way, Dan listens to me. I appreciate that Dan values my input and considers my words. It makes me feel loved and respected as his wife.

Notice Riker speaks his objections in the ready room, not out on the deck where every ensign and officer can hear. He shows respect for Picard and does it in privacy. Same with the wife. Display respect for your husband and bring up concerns and grievances in private, not in front of others.

However, when Riker and Picard leave the ready room, they leave as a team and on the same page. Riker may not agree with Picard, but in the end, Picard is his captain and responsible for the Enterprise and will have to answer to Starfleet for anything that goes wrong. Riker has done his job, he has spoken to Picard, but now he needs to submit to his captain.

Both men are respected on the Enterprise and in the Federation. Both men are equally intelligent and popular. But because of the need for order and there can only be one captain, Picard fills that role. Riker is not any less of a human for being first officer. It is the role he fills and he does a great job of it.

In marriage, a man and a woman are both humans loved by God. Both are given God’s grace. But they play two different roles in the family. Each role is important and each role helps the ship sail smoothly.

Me and my "tribbles"

When I reflected on my role and realized I am similar to Riker as first officer, I found my misgivings and fear of “not being as important” fade away. I am important. But I do not need to be the captain. Dan’s the captain and I can help him by being the best first officer there is.

And, in the immortal words of Startrek, together Dan and I boldly go where no man (or woman) has gone before: our own personal marriage. *Cue music 🙂




Next week is my 12th anniversary. A lot has happened since I said “I do”. If you had told me all the crazy things that would happen over the next few years, I wouldn’t have believed you. Actually, if you had told me that I would marry Dan, I wouldn’t have believed you either ;).

It’s been a faith filled roller coaster with high highs and low lows. But not once have I regretted marrying Dan. We have so many stories to tell, so many experiences shared, so many tears, hugs and kisses. Here are a few:

2000- Remember Y2K? Dan and I were pretty happy to see the world still here after midnight. Two weeks later we were married and spent an amazing honeymoon at Disneyworld (you didn’t really think we would go to some tropical place, did you?)

2001- We packed up and headed down to Texas so Dan could go to seminary, the first of our many adventures.

2002- Surprise! We found out in January that I was pregnant. Not something we had planned during seminary. So glad God gave us Philip, though :).

2003- Moved to Walla Walla Washington. Yes, it really does exist. Dan started his first job as a pastor and I started learning what it meant to be a pastor’s wife.

2004- Along came Katy, our wonderful adventurous tomboy princess.

2005- Moved to Portland. Found out the last week in December that we would be having twins.

2006- There is nothing like looking like a whale (and feeling like one) during the hottest day on record for Portland. Dan bought a window air conditioner for me to sit by until I could go to the hospital (they turned me away the day I was due, so I ended up waiting two more days). At least I can say I had one of the biggest twins my OB GYN had ever delivered: 8lb boy :).

2007- Dan was laid off and so we moved into my mother’s basement.

Picture Dan took during sunset in Bandon

2008- Another move, this time to the Oregon coast. One of the most beautiful places I have ever lived.

2009- Celebrated an early 10th anniversary by going to Hawaii. That was fun!

2010- Moved again, this time to Indiana. I never thought we would move so much! But one thing Dan and I learned through each move is that God is with us and will take care of us.

2011- Dan lost his job. Remember those marriage vows? Rich or poor, in sickness an in health. Despite all darkness going on around us, we clung to God and each other.

2012- This year is yet to be written 😉

Do Dan and I have a perfect marriage? No! In fact, I think I can safely say that without God, our marriage would be in shambles. Or to be more honest, we would never have married. We are very different people. But we both want to follow God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. And by following God, we draw closer together. Because of Jesus we can forgive each other, love despite the cost, and find hope when life turns dark.

What’s next? Looking at our past twelve years, I’m afraid to guess. But I’m also excited. I have a wonderful partner in Dan and a God who’s leading our lives.

Why isn’t Marriage Romantic Anymore?

Dan and I were watching The Event one night. Afterwards, I turned to Dan and told him they should have had two of the main characters married instead of just dating. I would have pulled for them more. Then Dan pointed out something: most of the world does not see the romance or permanence of marriage anymore.

Dan’s words saddened me. I guess I’m one of those that still believes marriage can be the strongest human relationship in the world. Where a man finds a woman and chooses to love only her the rest of his life. Where a woman stands beside her man as his lover, friend, and ally. The kind of bond that if the woman went missing, the man will go to the ends of the earth to find her (cue music “I’ll Always Find You”).

I have a hard time believing in that kind of permanent love between two people merely dating. And even harder time believing that of total strangers. Yet that is the romance we see on the big screen or read about in books.

I know, I know, you’re saying that kind of romantic marriage is more fairytale than reality. And considering the amount of divorce, infidelity, and disrespect in marriages nowadays, it’s easy to see why. But isn’t the heartthrobbing, I-will-throw-myself-in-front-of-the-monster (even though I’ve only known you two days), let’s kiss (and do more) but I may or may not be here tomorrow kind of love just as fairytalish?

Why is it that marriage has to be unexciting, unromantic, or the big problem in a movie/book? Why can’t it be the romantic element? That together, the hero and heroine are stronger than they would be apart?

I love the opening scene to Star Wars: Survivors Quest by Timothy Zahn. We watch Luke Skywalker and his wife Mara Jade totally clean out the bad guys. But not just in that scene. They do that through the entire book. And Star Wars series. Apart, Luke and Mara are pretty good jedis. Together, unbeatable. They are a fictional example of a great husband/wife team. They love each other exclusively, watch each other’s backs, powerful in their own right, but even more so together. Why can’t we have more romance like that?

Or how about Spy Kids? The movie starts out with two international spies assigned to take out the other. Of course, they fall in love instead and choose to embark on the “greatest journey of all”: marriage (and kids :)).

I would love to see more of this kind of romance when I read or watch a movie. A romance where marriage is a good thing, something to be desired. It reinforces my own desire for a good marriage, one worth fighting for.

How about you? Would you like to see more of this kind of romance? What books or movies have you seen marriage portrayed as romantic?

Protecting Your Marriage

I was going to blog on another topic this week until I read the cnn.com article about Facebook and spouse cheating, I couldn’t get that topic out of my head. I read the article with horror and realized how desperately important it is to set boundaries in marriage. Not that I didn’t know that already, being married to a pastor and all, but those boundaries are for everyone, not just a pastor and his family.

Boundaries? you might be wondering by now. What do you mean? Let me explain by sharing boundaries of my own.

A)   I always tell Dan when a man wants to be my friend on Facebook. Why? It keeps me accountable to all the men who want to be my friend and makes me examine my motives on wanting this person to be my friend. It also lessons the reasons for Dan to be suspicious of me (which to my knowledge, he never has, but I do not want to give him reason either).

B)   Dan and I both have each other’s passwords to Facebook and email accounts. Not that we have anything to hide, but it gives a certain level of accountability.

C)   We have permission to question each other if something doesn’t seem right (this is done in a respectful and humble manner, not accusatory). I can’t tell you how many times this open honesty with each other has diffused misunderstandings between Dan and I.

D)   During times of frustration in marriage, it can be easy to go to another person and find understanding from them (especially through emails and Facebook). This is DANGEROUS when you go to someone of the opposite sex. You begin to find yourself attracted to that other person because they understand you while you and your spouse are at odds. Instead, pray, pray, pray, for your spouse. If you need to talk to someone, go to a trusted friend who you know will point you back to your marriage and God (not simply take your side).

E)   If you find your heart and mind wandering towards another person, take those thoughts captive! Spend less time with that person. Focus on your spouse. Be on your knees before God. Fight for your marriage!

A wonderful woman, Mary E. DeMuth wrote a great article about protecting her marriage. Although aimed at those in the Christian publishing world, her advice can be applied to all marriages. Here is the link www.christianfictiononlinemagazine.com/june-09-brilliant_real.html

Marriage is worth fighting for. The scary thing is, you might be fighting yourself.