So there I was on Match.com. Yep. I said it. I was on Match.com. I paid for the six month plan so that if I hadn’t found my “true love” in that time, the next six months would be free. It all stemmed from a conversation that my mom had with one of her friends, whose daughter’s story was similar to mine and who had, as a young single mom, found a great guy on a Christian dating site. So, after cycling through a couple of other sites and dating a few guys with no success, Match.com was something of a last ditch effort. So, there I was on Match.com checking my inbox and here was this picture of a guy in a cowboy hat, in the woods… in a Hawaiian shirt. Wait…, wha… ?!? I needed to know more, so I opened the email.
A whole lot was at stake here. I was a single mom, living with my parents, working part time while trying to raise a 1 ½ year old. My daughter was strong-willed and precocious and adorable. Every site I went on noted my single mother status front and center, but it seemed obvious that guys I had gone on dates with were still not quite sure about the whole kiddo thing. Still, I persisted. I was looking for a Christian man who wouldn’t be afraid to step up to the plate and handle daddy duties right away.
Enter The Woodsman.
Who was this guy that would hang out in the middle of the woods in a cowboy hat and a black and pink Hawaiian shirt? I liked his style. So, I opened his short email. There wasn’t much. Just a quick hello, how are you kind of note. So I responded in kind and thus began a short period of email correspondence with biggelkhunter. Eventually he asked for a phone number, which I gave and we spoke several times.
He was soft spoken, didn’t say a whole lot and was always very, very sweet. I was kind of starting to like this guy, but not sure how soon we would actually meet in person. So, we just kept talking on the phone. One day he mentioned that he would not be calling for a few days because he was going to be out of town over the holiday weekend for a family gathering in New Mexico. Intrigued, I let him know that I, too, would be visiting said state for a couple of family events over the same weekend. So, which part of the state would he be in? Well, as God had planned, he would be in the exact same northwestern corner as myself.
So, plans were made for an out of state rendezvous. The Woodsman would be at an IHOP on the Sunday morning of the busy weekend where he would meet me…and my daughter…and my mom. He was agreeable to these first date arrangements, so we were set. Upon arrival in New Mexico some family members were concerned with us three girls meeting a strange man alone, so a cousin and her dad tagged along to the ‘date’ as well! The Woodsman, true to form, didn’t say much that morning – just smiled and nodded a lot. But, when the bill came for our party of 5 ½ (can’t really count the 1 ½ year old as a full member of the party) he insisted on picking up the tab. (He later admitted to me that he showed up a half hour early and circled the IHOP for the entire time trying to decide if he should even stop, so grating were his nerves.)
At the end of this meeting The Woodsman told me that he would be busy the following weekend helping his brother move, but would be in touch some time after that. I hadn’t really gotten to know him any better at the meeting, other than being impressed with his willingness to pay for the whole ticket, so I bemusedly discussed him with my mom, who called my dad to make a full report and we headed back home.
The Woodsman waited a full two and a half weeks before he called again. I was pretty sure that my loud and crazy family had scared him off! But, then he did call again and asked if I’d like to go out on a date. Our first real date, just the two of us, was out to dinner at a nice local steakhouse and then off to the dirt track races. He and I both love auto racing, so it was a good first outing. The next morning, a Sunday, he called and asked if I’d like to have lunch with him again that day. I said, sure, but my daughter would have to come along and he said, “Of course!” I think he pretty much had me with that statement. We spent almost every weekend and then many weekdays together from that day in June until our wedding later that year in October.
The last nearly four years haven’t been all roses and red wine. Life has thrown us some curve balls and we’re still learning all the ins and outs of life as two who are one. (According to other married couples we know, that’s a learning process that has no end!) But, the unbelievable heart of my husband never ceases to amaze me.
My Woodsman loves me, loves our beautiful and still strong-willed as ever brown-eyed beauty and loves our crazy little blonde that arrived a couple of years after our wedding. He’s always 100% committed to making this marriage thing work. He puts up with all my little foibles and he takes care of me when I am sick. He is an outspoken advocate for our unschooling lifestyle. Most of all, he loves our God with all his heart and is also 100% committed to working out his faith as we stumble through this broken world.
Who could ask for more?