Thursday, July 31, 2008

Once Upon a Time...

[Jill:] Once upon a time, there was girl who dreamed of the day she would meet her handsome prince and begin living happily ever after.

Every little girl dreams this dream. "Some day my prince will come" isn't just a line from a Snow White tune. Those words are the heartcry of most females I know. I mean, come on! Haven't we all read and "Amen"ed our way through the book Captivating by now?

I dreamed of my prince for 26 years. It's probably the only real dream I've ever had, the dream of becoming a wife and a mother. A good many of those latter 26 years were spent restlessly, I admit. I grew tired of my singleness and a cloud of doubt threatened to darken my dreams. Perhaps God wanted me to be single forever? *gasp*

But then in February of 2008, just a month shy of my 27th birthday, something unexpectedly wonderful happened.

I went to Colorado on a ski trip with friends from church.

Oh, that wasn't so unexpected and although it was wonderful, there was a lot more to it than your average ski trip. There, outside the Denver airport, I boarded an SUV and began the first chapter of a story I'd longed for my entire life. 32-year-old Seattle resident Dan Blankenship was behind the wheel of that SUV. A mutual friend had invited Dan to join us for a week on the slopes of Steamboat Springs. Right there when I first saw Dan, I thought to myself, "Oh, he's cute!" and the rest is history. It was there in the mountains of Colorado that God began whispering to each of us, quietly and clearly.

I came home from Colorado with silly, fun, and sweet stories to tell my friends and family about Dan. From the moment when he picked me up and threw me into a huge pile of snow to when he and the other guys rescued my friend Emily and me from being lost on the side of a mountain in the below freezing temperatures. My favorite part of the story though was telling about when he took me aside, sat me down, and prayed for me before we left. I was excited about the five days we'd spent together, but never thought for a moment that he would pursue me across the country. Then came a sweet, surprise Valentine's Day gift from him. "Ok," I thought to myself, "he really does like me."

Over a span of some 3,000 miles and three time zones we began to date. Daily emails and nightly phone conversations led to a long distance committment, full of risk and adventure! Fast forward a few months through a few long weekend trips on both sides of the country - trips full of family and friends and walking hand in hand.

On Saturday, July 28, Dan woke me up at 4:30 in the morning during a stay at his aunt and uncle's house in Cedar Grove, Wisconsin to take me down to Lake Michigan to watch the sunrise. There on the deserted beach, just as the glowing, orange sun rose up from the horizon, Dan asked me to be his wife!

I said yes, of course.

And so, 100 days from today I'll be Mrs. Daniel Blankenship. Wow.

Chapter one of our dating life is coming to a close and chapter two of married life is soon to unfold. Please read along with us as God writes our love story...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Pray With Us

We have a pretty huge prayer request and we would absolutely love and appreciate it if you would join us in praying about it. Since we met in February, we've been making the most of the 3,000 plus miles between us. Now, less than three months away from being married, we are at a major crossroads...

Please pray for us as we face the daunting decision of where to live: Seattle or Orlando. Pray that God would open and close doors as we look at both options. Pray that the Lord would speak to each of our hearts individually and give us both a "peace that surpasses all understanding" regarding our final decision.

Thanks for praying with us and for us.

-Dan & Jill