Several months actually passed between the conversation in which Rachel first approached me with the idea and the night Travis and I first met when the six of us went out to dinner. In fact, during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season I all but forgot about it. Looking back, both Travis and I now see God's perfect timing all over the beginning of our relationship. We both feel we would not have been ready--emotionally, mentally, spiritually, relationally, even "schedule-ly"--back in the fall of 2007, but by the end of February the Lord had brought us both to a place where we could give ourselves to a relationship and open up our lives and hearts to another person. I also see God's tender timing in bringing Travis into my life just before the very difficult season in which I had to say goodbye to my grandpa. In the midst of all the sadness and uncertainty of Grandpa's last days, Travis was a tremendous support and what I like to call "a divine distraction." While so many guys would have backed away when a girl they'd just met was all of a sudden traveling through a valley of grief, Travis took a step toward me and walked through that valley with me. That's the kind of man he is.
The past 3 1/2 months have included LOTS of introductions...I've met his friends and family, and he's met many of mine. In fact, we've tried to be really intentional about entering into one another's circles and carrying out our relationship in the midst of that community. One question we've been asked on more than one occasion is, What was it that first grabbed your attention and really attracted you to the other? Well, I guess you could say he had me at St. Clarence.
The Tuesday after our first date (on a Saturday) Travis sent me an email with a poem inspired by my Valentine's Day blog post, in which I mused about what people might say to one another (rather than "Be Mine") if Valentine had been named St. Clarence or Rufus instead (names much harder to rhyme with). With his permission, here's what Travis composed:
For raising a womanThe poem was sweet and made me laugh, and demonstrated his thoughtfulness, creativity, and sense of humor. He had my attention, and from there began to grow in my affections. About a week later, after we'd gone on our second date, Travis sent me a text with a limerick about our date. It was witty, creative, and a LIMERICK, for goodness' sake! At that point I found myself grinning like a fool and thinking, "Lord, only You could bring me a guy who flirts with limericks via text!"
of joyful countenance
a deep thoughtful mind
and lovely appearance
It is time to give honor
and praise to your parents
I send warm regards
this day of St. Clarence
So, that's how it all started. Three and a half months later, I remain wide-eyed in wonder and overflowing with thankfulness at what the Lord has done in bringing such a godly, funny, intelligent, caring, responsible, creative, generous, and tender-hearted man into my life (just a few of the things I appreciate about him!). I'm excited to introduce you to him, as he will now likely be a frequent character in the tales recounted here in Suz's Musings. As Travis & I share our lives with one another--the exciting adventures along with the mundane--we are striving to lay a solid foundation of friendship and trust for a bright future. We desire wisdom and we covet your prayers as we continue to build our relationship and grow up into Christ, who is our Head (Eph 4:15).