If you’ve been waiting to read the rest of our story, you can get the e-book now. For 5 days, November 28 – December 2, it will be FREE on Amazon before it goes up to the regular price.
If you’re waiting for the paperback version, pray. It’s been a 3 day nightmare of formatting issues I’ve never experienced before. But, God will prevail and I’ll keep you posted for the print version too.
Not only can you get the NEW RELEASE free, but I’ve made The Miracle of Us: Confessions of an Online Dater FREE through this Thursday so you can refresh your memory or read the beginning of our story for the first time.
If you read our story years ago and need a refresher of hope or if you’ve never experienced what trusting God for next steps is like, you can read our incredible story here. FREE this week only. November 27 – December 1
We pray you had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of beautiful memories. May these next weeks leading up to Christmas draw you into the hope, peace, and joy of Jesus as we anticipate celebrating his birth.
I don’t want to burst any bubbles out there, but what begins as a miracle of seemingly chance encounters and that sudden knowing that this person is the one, takes some work to maintain.
At the start, that person, who you swear you’ve always known somehow even though you’ve only just met, sweeps you off your feet. You confess you’ll never love another and he or she is your one and only love.
If you’re anything like us, you witness miracles, maybe a dozen or more (in our case) that let you know with certainty that this is meant to be. You say yes to the proposal and the dress and begin planning your dream day. For us that happened across two continents. COVID-19 long distance has nothing on us!
The wedding is pure bliss even with its few unplanned mishaps (like our crystal champagne flutes that didn’t show up on time), and you waltz from the dance floor to the honeymoon in ecstasy.
We did. Ahh…
Then begins reality.
The moment when the fairy tale becomes real life.
The best love story comes after the wedding. I have a quote something like that framed with a picture of us a year after the wedding. The best comes when you fight through the worst. The worst of both of you, the worst circumstances, the worst heartache. All of that brings out the best of your love story.
The rest of our story will be told in Beyond the Miracle: When the Fairy Tale Meets Reality, but until its release (projected for May 2021), we celebrate the now of this year’s anniversary with a throw-back to where it all began.
In honor of our eleventh anniversary, The Miracle of Us: Confessions of an Online Dateris FREE on Amazon for your holiday weekend reading.
My husband and my first golf experience revealed a core issue in our marriage.
My husband plays golf. He knows what he’s doing, and he’s good at it. Unlike me, who has been on a golf course twice. And, I spent more time playing in the cart than in the game.
However, my dad taught me all he knows about golf. He’s good at it.
Despite my lack of actual course experience, I’ve hit dozens of balls on the driving range (I’m not even counting putting on miniature golf courses). I know how to hold the club and keep the arm straight and knees slightly bent. I’m not saying I’m consistent or good, but still…
So how did what should have been a pleasant activity turn into a forced, disappointing situation? Why did our fun evening digress into an argument? Brendan thought his experience would benefit me. I decided to stick with what I had been taught.
We both wanted to do things our way and couldn’t see the other’s perspective.
It seems we aren’t the ones who coined this dilemma. From what I understand, many people struggle with the same issue. World conflicts, politics and the ongoing argument of which way to load a dishwasher are proof. Knives down, people!
Whether it’s about golf or any other number of situations, we both have understanding and opinions based on legitimate past experience and information. Even if it’s not the same, they’re both valid.
Neither is wrong or right, they’re just different.
In a healthy relationships, we do the following:
Listen to the other person’s experience and perspective
Validate that the other person’s view is legitimate even if we don’t share it
Be open to considering the other view as a way to broaden ours
Be willing to compromise when it will better serve the relationship
Choose the best way for each of us given the new information
Voice our position calmly, honestly and without condescension, excuse or defense
Allow the other person to choose their way without judging or criticizing them
We’re still figuring out the healthy way.
Those opposites that attracted us often lead to frustration as well. Initially, I appreciated that my husband’s strong opinions could stand in the face of mine, but later I discovered I didn’t like being challenged. Both of us believed the other one should hold our same perspective without any question.
I don’t think either of us were often very open to the other’s perspective.
The good thing is it’s never too late to change. Being in relationship, whether a marriage or with a friend, family member or co-worker challenges us to become better people. It broadens our scope of how we see life. It makes us compassionate. That’s why God created us for community.
The Bible puts it this way:
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
Our last golf experience during Father’s Day was better. We encouraged each other, let the other person do things as they wished, and I asked Brendan for some help. Well, maybe once.
17% of marriages began online – this is the same as 5 years ago
71% of online daters believe in love at first site – WOW!
New stat – 10% of people who use online dating to meet people are sex offenders
According to eHarmony they are responsible for 4% (down 1% from 5 years back) of marriages from online dating – are other sites creating more matches??
If you’d like to read our story, you can get The Miracle of Us: Confessions of an Online Daterhere.
It happened again.
This time I was getting a pedicure and chatting with the lovely woman who attempted to produce something beautiful from my calloused, beach-combing feet. The conversation naturally turned to how we each met our husbands.
Her question prompted my response, “On an internet dating site,” and I grinned, waiting for the usual astonishment.
No way! You’re the third person that I’ve heard of.
I find I’m hearing that more often now. My husband and I know two other married couples who met on Christian Café. Online dating is quickly losing its stigma. Many folks are tired of the bar hopping want-to-go-to-my-place scene. They want more than one night; they long for something real, deeper and permanent.
According to 2012 statistics, internet dating is gaining popularity and producing lasting results.
Did you know that:
In 2007, 20 million people tried online dating; in 2012 40 million have jumped onboard
10% of 54 million singles use an online dating service
Of online daters, 52.4% are male; 47.6% are female
20% of current committed relationships started online
The average length of courtship leading to marriage for online daters is 18.5 months
17% of couples who married met on a dating site
According to eHarmony, their site is responsible for 5% of all US marriages
Is it the best option?
While opportunities for meeting the person of your dreams through work, school, and social activities may present themselves to the majority of society, many people find the internet dating situation a beneficial one. Learning a little about someone from a profile or being matched to a compatible suitor offers a dating advantage that supersedes a bar scene or the constant conscious effort to pay attention to every potential single who may be in the next aisle at the grocery store.
Yes, liars and potential dangers do exist online.
But I’ve seen or met some fairly sketchy characters on a college campus, in a restaurant and even at church. There are no guarantees that you won’t meet unscrupulous people on an internet dating site—just as you might anywhere. It’s certainly not the only option; it’s only one of many. But I’m awfully glad I tried it.
Do you know someone who has met online? What’s their story?
Thanks to everyone who has read or is in the process of reading and has encouraged me with such wonderful praise. I say the glory goes to God.
While I’m basking in your kindness, I’m also sending a caution.
You see, I’ve been doing some research for one of the characters in my next book, A Voice from the Past, and what I’ve discovered is quite alarming. I don’t want to spoil any future readers’ appointment with the book so let’s just say this character, Sam, is an unsavory one. Which leads me to the point of this post.
Beware of unscrupulous online suitors!
My experience with internet dating ended in wedded bliss, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Even though my friend, Carol, and I both met our amazing husbands through that vehicle, we also waded through some cads and even potential dangerous predators. Please be careful when you are pursuing someone online.
And not only online.
Anyone practiced in deception can convince us to fall for their charms. I had a couple of close calls with some I’ve met. It is crucial to get other opinions from family or friends who know you best. (Thank you Carol!) When we are swooped off our feet by someone intending to disarm us and use us, it’s easy to have our thinking a little distorted. For specific tips see my earlier posts: Fantasy vs. Reality, Are You Kidding?, Meeting Face to Face, and Meeting Face to Fact Part 2.
Are You Dating A Crook?
This was the title of a brief insert in the Feb/Mar 2012 issue of AARP Magazine. It gave the information for MyMatchChecker.com and BeenVerified.com where you can get access to public records like criminal history. Is seems like the $15 -$89 (depending on the level of info you choose) is worth the investment.
Online dating can be a great vehicle for finding the love of your life. But be careful. Be wise. Because you’re worth it.
Have any online dating stories to share? We’d love to hear…
My husband, Brendan, did an amazing thing for me today.
I woke to find a book which held a dated message for every day from January 1st through today in which Brendan specifically told me something I had done or said during that day that blessed him. At the end of each page he reminded me that he loved me that day. I can’t describe how much this gift meant to me for so many reasons other than the obvious. He planned something and carried it out during a time when he is especially busy with schoolwork and business. He took time to write down his thoughts each day so he could show me his love for me. He encouraged me as a wife and mother. I’ve never been so moved by a gift in my life. Sharing this with the world even feels a little sacrilegious.
But Brendan gave God the credit.
And as the day has progressed, and I’ve considered what God would like me to share in this post, it occurred to me that God has done the very same thing for us.
Thousands of years ago, He came up with a plan.
He wrote down everything or had someone write it for Him so He could tell us how much He loves us each day. The execution of His plan cost Him a great deal. But with each action and word written, He reminds us how much He loves us and encourages us as His followers. He points out all the good things we’ve said or done in a day and offers grace (even to the point of forgetting) the complaining attitudes, criticizing words or curt actions. Through it all, He loves us.
God is love.
The Bible is His collection of love letters to us reminding us and encouraging us.
What an awesome gift. Not only on Valentine’s Day, but every day.
Thank you, Jesus.
What is the best Valentine gift you’ve ever received?
Yes, Brendan and I have a truly wonderful relationship. You can read our entire story now in The Miracle of Us: Confessions of an Online Dater. Get it here or on Amazon today.
The Miracle of Us: Confessions of an Online Dater went live on Amazon this afternoon and the reality of what we’ve written (I say we because Brendan put his story, thoughts and feelings in there too) is hitting us full force.
Why? You may ask.
Well, we’ve shared our personal testimony. Our thoughts, feelings, struggles, triumphs as well as the fun and the nitty-gritty tragedy in between are all in the open. Suddenly, we feel a bit self-conscious to talk about our failures, losses and newly found love. Love found on the internet, no less. We think of the conflicts we’ve given you a glimpse into and the intimacy of some of our moments together, and quite frankly, we’re blushing.
So, why would we do something like this?
The Bible tells us that we overcome our enemy by Jesus’ blood and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11). It’s that simple. And complicated. When any one of us shares our story of the amazing things God has done for us, our faith is strengthened. Our testimony encourages the people who hear it, and fills them with hope that if God could/would do that for someone, then maybe he could work in their situation as well.
Each word of our testimony sends our enemy reeling.
We gain hope, strength, power all because of a confidence in the God who just did miracles for us or other believers. When someone tells me about how they were healed, or given $462 when they needed that exact amount for a doctor bill my faith leaps with excited anticipation of what God will then do for me. I am filled with awe, wonder and praise for his mighty works, and his great love that incites him to do those things for us. Like the woman at the well who ran to tell everyone in town about Jesus being the Messiah because he told her things he couldn’t have known unless he was God, we share the miracles of God and others believe.
God did amazing things for two broken people.
This is our story to encourage, inspire and give thanks to a wonderful, loving Heavenly Father who deserves our gratitude and praise. It might bring laughter or tears, or even ruffle a few feathers, but the focus is on the big picture of what an incredible God can do when we trust him. Ultimately, we hope it will bless everyone who reads it, even if we feel a little naked sharing it.
When my friend, Carol, and I decided to take a chance with online dating, I don’t think we expected the outcome we ended up with. Oh, we hoped to find Mr. Right, but really, what were the chances we would both find our husbands through that vehicle?
At the same time?
The actual odds were pretty slim considering that only 1 in 5 singles form a committed relationship with someone from a dating site (match.com). So for both of us to meet our husbands online at christiancafe.com within a couple of months of each other seemed pretty miraculous.
How many people do you know who have met through an internet dating site and are now happily married? (I’d really love to know in the comments below.)
We are both coming up on our fifth year anniversaries which seems amazing to me. What’s even more amazing is the story of how it all happened. Well, Carol’s story is hers to share, but you can find more of my story from earlier posts in Confessions of an Online Dater.
Or, you can read the book.
It’s in the proofing stage currently and is now set to release on February 7, 2014. It will be available through CreateSpace.com, Amazon.com and other retailers.
The Miracle of Us: Confessions of an Online Dater is soon to be released!
This four year writing project has taken many twists and turns along the journey, but at last, the ultimate love story will be released on February 7, 2014 in time for Valentine’s Day.
In case you haven’t been following the Confessions of an Online Dater portion of this blog, here’s the scoop:
They met online.
Laura was a twice divorced mother of four grown children. After two decades of marital devastation, she wasn’t sure if God would give her another chance at love.
Brendan, shocked and devastated after the sudden death of his wife, was left a widowed father with three children. He didn’t see how God could overcome their unexpected tragedy.
But God held all the shattered pieces of both their lives, and He had a good plan. Could He bring together two families 8,000 miles apart? How would they trust Him with the risks required for such a miracle? With each step of faith, God changed their lives and replaced their pasts with a new story. A story of hope, healing and redemption. And it all started on the internet.
The best news is I’m offering a couple of ways to get your FREE autographed copy.
Here’s what you can do:
Be one of the first 5 (five) people to submit your comment using the following form.
If you have a blog, be one of the first 5 (five) people to volunteer to read the book and write a blog post with your review. I appreciate your honest evaluation. Use the following form to volunteer.
And that’s not all!
For anyone who pre-orders by January 24 (you have 2 weeks), you can get 20% off the retail price of $14.99. I will personally send you an autographed copy. Use the following form to pre-order, and I will email you secure payment information.
Thank you for your readership and support. Your encouragement means so much!