Thursday, April 3, 2014

(part one) 20 YEARS OF LOVING HIM - LOVING HER




The lady in WHITE is making it happen.....I am deeply proud of her.....check her latest blog post.....




http://ramfamadventures.blogspot.com/2014/04/gastric-bypass-surgerversary-year-1.html

20 years of loving him - loving her (part one)

For more than 20 years I have loved Shanna Lea Ramsdell. 

Those are easy words to say, but after 20 years of saying them, I have also had to learn to prove it, over and over. This is the challenge isn't it guys. Telling her she is wonderful, getting her to like you, then dropping the magic phrase, I Love You. We seal the deal and walk away with all the prizes, door one, two and three. 

However....

After the amazing ring, dynamic and romantic proposal, breathtaking ceremony and unforgettable honeymoon, REAL LIFE, begins. Just a note: most of us don't do well on the beginning elements anyway...so what I am saying about, REAL LIFE, is even more important.....take a short survey...1 = great, 5 = was a joke

How did Billy do for starters......

* Amazing Ring                                       5 = was a joke
* Dynamic & Romantic Proposal           4 = just less than a joke
* Breathtaking Ceremony                       2 = really good
* Unforgettable Honeymoon                  1 = great

Let me expound - for your entertainment......

Ring: I was a broke college guy. I did not save (I'm not a saver), and did not have a plan to get a great ring. I was a dork in this area, and was truly struggling as a recovering redneck. I had never even been in a jewelry store or looked at rings. My father-in-law was embarased for me, but unwilling to bail me out. He was so helpful (sarcasm). He took me to a pawn shop downtown Jax, gave me a $100 and said pick one. My mother held it up and broke the curses off of this thing the first time she saw it. Shanna's mom openly gasped in horror and my father-in-law just chuckled, as if to say, if she marries you now, it's all on her.......Shanna acted gracious, but it was a far cry Andrew taking Melanie blindfolded to Tiffany's  and saying pick one....Sweet Home Alabama...who can do that anyway? Let's just say, over the past 20 years, we have upgraded a few times.....


IT AIN'T SO BAD ANYMORE..............

Proposal: If the ring fiasco wasn't bad enough, I completely spaced the idea of "planning" a proposal. After asking her parents and getting the cursed-pawn-shop-ring, I realized, dude...now you have to officially pop the question. In my defense, we had talked about it with deep conviction so I thought everything was a go. But, who wants an arranged or understood marriage, even if God and family were in it. The girl, at some point says....show me the love dude, take a knee and pop the question, right in the middle of a famous restaurant or on the stage at a Bon Jovi concert or on TV or something. Me, I reacted with an unplanned private walk on a windy beach without a jacket, an anti-climactic, "oh, look what's in my pocket" presentation of the cursed-tinny-where-the-heck-is-the-diamond-ring and running back to the car to get warm; where a police officer was gracious enough pull behind us to inform us we were parked illegally or something, I can't even remember. I mean, I WAS THERE, I knew this was a complete bomb, why did the officer have to add insult to injury with his flippin lights and bullhorn. He told us we had to move, but to me, the only LOOSER in the car, it sounded like (imagine bullhorn sound, very loud, lights flashing: SIR, YOU THERE IN THE CAR, LOOSER....ARE YOU SERIOUS, YOU CALL THAT A RING, YOU CALL THAT A PROPOSAL, MA'AM, WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE FOR ME TO SHOOT HIM?? OH, YOU FEEL SORRY FOR HIM, WELL I'M STILL GOING TO WRITE HIM A TICKET FOR BEING STUPID AND LAME"  I'm like....thank you officer, shoot me now!

Ceremony: Ok, seriously, I had nothing to do with the ceremony. Shanna's family planned it all. We were in college and not even there. We added a hip-hop-foot-stomping version of the Hallelujah Chorus as we departed the platform, it was very different, to say the least.....something like this....http://youtu.be/vkbuHu2D_Ro
I could have been a little more suave as well. Meaning, I could have stood there looking good and said my vows like a man instead of crying like a baby. Yes, I lost it. I had waited, prayed, waited, prayed and finally found the lady God had for me, the one lady who could tolerate me and love me and now...I was breaking down in front of everyone...I cried like a baby...tears of joy, love, laughter and hope, but tears nonetheless. So, after all of that....she still said yes!!!! Thank You Jesus!!!!

Honeymoon: We kissed our first time after we asked her parents if we could marry. We were basically engaged before we kissed. I was not happy with the wait, every day seemed like a week and weeks seemed like a month, but, we made it to the "day of" without sex. After a long reception we changed clothes and headed to a condo on the beach. I had never really been on a vacation before, stayed in a condo before, or gone "off" with a girl. I grew up with unhealthy habits and knew many girls, unfortunately. But, after giving my heart to Christ, I did all I could to give my body over to his will as well. It was not a perfect 4 years, but I had waited for Shanna. This was the first Romantic Moment, alone, with the young lady I loved. We received a good amount of cash to run off with and had time. So from the Condo on the Beach we went to a high rise hotel in downtown Atlanta then to a cabin in the Mountains. I guess I really had not expected to have that much time away. We connected like I had never imagined possible. Shanna was a lady, a woman of God and I was blessed to give her my last name. We talked about life, love, family, money, children, work, ministry, vacation. We shared about past, our fears, our struggles and dreams. We felt it was a moment of complete redemption where God restored us, healed us and bonded us together. 


She loved me all along the way, no matter how foolish or lame I was, she loved me, unconditionally, and still does today. She has become my hero. I know that is strange to say. For a husband to call his wife hero. But, you don't know her like I do. I see her character, her courage and her craving for authentic expressions of the Christian life. We both hate fake religion. We love laying in green grass. We don't play well with liars but have mountains of grace for failures. We love to learn and pray to someday stop having to learn the hard way. We love orphans, widows and those who cannot advocate for themselves. We hate the cold on days when it should be hot, but sleep better in the cold. I could go sharing about this girl and how our 20 years together have changed my life. For now I will simply say, she has loved me well, even when I was not so lovable...and for that I am deeply thankful!!!!

REAL LIFE...will have to wait for (part two).....


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