Think four:eight {day 26}

{My Babe!}

Today is a very special day!

It was 31 years ago today I went on my first date with the love of my life, my husband Neil!

Actually, Neil and I have known each other since jr. high but it wasn’t until the end of our junior year of high school he decided to make his move! He was a new fixed-wing pilot and asked if I would like to go flying with him sometime over the summer. I told him I would love to but I honestly thought he was just making small talk and I would probably not see him again until the next school year. Fortunately, I was wrong!

It was July 26, 1979 and the night began with a hot red car pulling up in front of my house. Neil (might I add, hot himself) arrived in his bright red 1972 Ford Mustang Grande. It was absolutely pristine with its white leather top and white leather seats. After meeting my mom, he took me to dinner at the Spaghetti Factory on Mill Ave. in Tempe. We nervously navigated through the “getting to know you” small talk but at one point in our conversation, Neil shared that the two men he admired most in his life were his father and his pastor. It was at that moment, I quickly recognized there was something wonderfully different about this 17 year old boy.

After a great dinner, we drove to the Chandler Airport where Neil buckled me into a Piper Warrior airplane. I can remember that moment as if it were yesterday. I was already experiencing “first date jitters” and my stomach was really nervous. Plus, I unfortunately had a history of motion sickness. As you can imagine, I was fervently praying the whole flight that I would not throw up. Now, you would think that being in a small plane with a newly licensed seventeen year old pilot, returning safely to solid ground would be the main focus of my prayers. Nope, I was only concerned about keeping my dignity and keeping the cockpit clean!

The flight was magical! The moon lit up the whole sky and the city lights sparkled below us as if mimicking the stars from above. Neil flew the airplane with great skill, adding to the flight bits of history and trivia. After we landed, (with no major incidents), we finished our first date with a coke at Bob’s Big Boy in downtown Chandler. I remember after Neil walked me to my front door, politely saying goodnight, an unexpected sense of wonder and curiosity followed me inside. I had just spent the evening with a young man who was unlike any other boy I’d known before.

Well, the rest of our story is history! We dated for 5 years and have been married for 26! We have weathered hard times together as well as experienced incredible seasons of joy. Our life has been richly blessed with three beautiful children along with dear family and friends. Although I deeply treasure all of these things, to me, the greatest blessing is being married to a man who loves God with all of his heart and strives to create a home where Christ is the center.

Philippians 4:8 is a picture of what Neil has been to me in my life. Is he perfect? Absolutely not… sometimes he walks way too fast when we go places and he doesn’t like to play games.

But for the record… he is still hot and still drives a hot car!

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

{If you are new to my blog, click here to read the story behind My Personal Challenge: think four:eight.}


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