This is my story.

My parents were high school sweethearts. They were from church-going homes, but it was while they were in college that they were influenced to make the Bible their foundation for life. I am their oldest of three children – girl, girl, boy – and we attended private religious school as a result of their convictions and desires to raise us to know and love Jesus. As with most private religious things, much good and much confusion were the result.

When my dad was 35 years old, in order to fulfill a lifelong dream, he applied for a third time to medical school… and got in!!! As a seven year old, all I really remember were tears of happiness and a “we’re moving to the city!” Then, for the next four years, I remember a string of day-care kids my saintly mom took into our home in order to support our family and still stay at home for us, lots and lots of studying (though never, ever, ever on Friday nights – for those, my friend, were strictly family time), and very special dinner dates to celebrate each completed semester at a local Chinese restaurant.

They were – and still are – incredible parents. My mom is a model of selfless giving, helpfulness, and nurture. She taught me to work hard, to support and respect your husband, and to open your home to anyone and everyone. People’s lives have literally been changed as a result of her hospitality. My dad is an incredible leader, businessman, and physician who is socially gifted with every kind of human being on the planet (young or old, fat or thin, white or not, rich or poor…you get the picture). Usually he had lots of wisdom to share, but, perhaps even more significantly, when he didn’t know what else to do, he prayed his kids through our hard times. (My dad is also a blogger.)

Together, my parents taught me that the Bible isn’t just a book of rules to be followed, but that it simply shows people the way life works best. They also showed me what it is to love people more than money, and what it means to be a truly generous person. My dad says often, “When I grew up, we were dirt poor. And I was just as happy then, before I had money, as I am now. Money is fun to have, but it cannot bring happiness.”

So, anyway, my parents were high school sweethearts. And so were all of their friends.

Therefore, when I headed off to college in 2000 at the age of 17 and without a serious boyfriend,I was absolutely sure that I’d end up an old maid. Just a year and a half later, however, I was dating Jason Larsen, the most selfless man I’ve ever met. We took it slowly, as I was convinced I’d break it off after just a few months. He just wasn’t the kind of man I’d always thought I’d marry. He was quieter, less opinionated, more laid-back than that mystical man of my dreams…or was he just all of those things less than me??? Three years later we were wed on a rainy day {my friend Christina says ‘a wet knot is harder to untie’} in May 2005 and despite how talkative, opinionated, and difficult I am to live with, he’s kept our marriage together and growing stronger for 6 years going on 60. (You can follow Jason on Twitter @jasonmlarsen or check out his blog: From Boy to Man.)

One of the most wonderful days I've yet lived. May 2005



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