Nov 9, 2010

Diamonds and Flannel ::An engagement story::

     If you like a good story, grab a cup of coffee and pull up a seat!! Think of this blog post as an extension of the ‘About Me’ section, the heart behind the photography, and an opportunity to praise God for His Goodness

Jill's prom and Marcus and Laura 1 yr. anniversary 014

     Just a little over two weeks ago, Marcus and I got engaged! On October 15, 2010 {The feast day of St. Teresa of Avila} around 11:30 am, he slipped a beautiful ring on my finger as we were spending time by the water at the dock in my neighborhood. After the sheer surprise, joy, tears, and laughing we headed back towards my house. As he squeezed my hand in excitement, he whispered “I have A LOT of stories to tell you.”

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       ~A {very} Brief History~

     {{It has been two & a half years since I first saw Marcus. He was leading a group of young adult volunteers in prayer. Little did he know, he was truly leading me in prayer already… I was grasping on to every word he offered up to God, begging for grace. We were both attending a retreat for local Catholic teenagers..he, a seasoned youth group volunteer and me, wondering what on Earth I was doing, thinking I was cool enough to spend a weekend with teenagers and help them in their faith. Yes, he was definitely leading me in prayer, whether he knew it or not. Apparently, God saw fit to bring us together this weekend, to work and pray alongside of each other. The close of the weekend sent him back to finish his last semester of college at Virginia Tech, where I oddly enough, was heading the following weekend to visit some of my friends from high school. We talked about getting together when I came up, for mass & lunch. My trip to Tech was a bit of a fiasco: I got a reckless driving ticket (first and ONLY) on the way up, and although we planned to meet at mass—I got the time wrong and was not able to find or sit with him. He probably thought I stood him up! Fortunately, we were able to find each other after church and headed to get some brunch. I planned to leave and head back home after brunch around 1. I did not leave that restaurant until 4 pm!   After the Tech visit came the phone calls, Skype dates, emails, brief visits back to Va Beach, and lots of praying for each other!  I sometimes wonder how I managed a 4.0 GPA that semester we were getting to know each other. I remember many a late phone conversations, hearing the birds begin their morning songs! We anxiously awaited his graduation from Tech, which would bring him back home to Virginia Beach. It became very apparent during our 2 + years together (and early on!) that God was preparing us for the vocation of Marriage with each other :) Our relationship was nourished by our prayers, the prayers of friends and family, hard times,  job changes, learning to be patient, God’s grace, the best community of friends around, trips to Ohio, weekly adoration in the chapel, rosaries and novena’s to our favorite saints, harder times,  encouragement, dancing, dark chocolate, tea walks, Catholic young adult groups, the joy of witnessing many of our friends marry, or have children, heartbreaking times, bench seats, a big truck, beach trips, honeysuckles, Wednesday dates, shared family traditions, anniversary scavenger hunts, crazy busy schedules and so much more}}

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~Back to the engagement story!~

     God is in the business of making dreams come true. And he is good at it too—after all, He is the author of the dreams and desires in our hearts.  This past summer Marcus knew, through dedicated prayer and discernment, that God was asking us to move forward in our relationship. One evening, Marcus had an overwhelming urge to go to the chapel. There he opened up his Bible to read Jesus instructing the Pharisees  about marriage (Matt 19:3-12- Go read it!).  Being confirmed in our relationship was great, but he still questioned some practical aspects of marriage for us at this time. Instead of doubting, Marcus delved deeper into prayer, seeking God’s timing and will and way. It was during that time that God placed three words/phrases on his heart. 1) Kimberly 2) On the corner 3) In your pocket. None of these three things meant anything to Marcus and he was clueless as how they pertained to our future engagement, but God was persistent about those three phrases and he heard them over and over. Meanwhile, life went on…Marcus and a very unsuspecting me went to Ohio to visit my grandparents. It is an annual trip for us, and we had a lot planned during our week there. I especially wanted to go to a little town called Powell, Ohio- where my grandmother had taken me antiquing when I was younger. I had not been there for a number of years, but we had a nice day looking through the shops. As we were getting ready to leave, Marcus noticed a jewelry shop and asked if I wanted to go in. I really didn’t want to, assuming it would be like every jeweler store with their pushy salespeople. After a bit of convincing, we walked in and met the nicest lady. We were there for quite a while, she taught us about diamonds, told us about her family business, and about the town we were visiting. Since she made us so comfortable and relaxed, I decided to look around the store and try on a couple rings for fun. There was one ring I kept coming back to..It was the most brilliant, clear, beautiful ring, called a Caro 74, and it fit me perfectly. I had no intention of hoping for that specific ring but hoped maybe Marcus would pick out one like that back home in Virginia Beach whenever it came time for us to be married. Meanwhile, the lady who owned the store, saw how my face lit up and slipped a business card with the ring info to Marcus, who put it in his pocket. As we walked out the store, Marcus pulled the business card out of his pocket. He then read the name of the jewelry store… Kimberly’s Diamond Corner. God’s clues all became very clear and Marcus knew that God was providing him direction even down to my ring! After we returned from Ohio, Marcus began talking with Kimberly about buying the ring, and she shipped it to Va Beach…Marcus didn’t even need to get it sized, since they both knew it had fit perfectly in the store :)

~The Proposal~

   So,  on October 15th (TWO months after getting the ring! Patient man!) Marcus and I were at my house early packing to go camping with our friends that weekend. He wanted to go for a walk first thing in the morning, but I wanted to get everything done for the trip first. Finally, around lunchtime, we finished packing and went for a walk down to the dock to do some morning prayer. I brought my camera with me (being a photographer), it was a beautiful day. After praying, Marcus asked if we could take some pictures together, so I used the self timer to capture some of us on dock. Getting hungry, excited to go camping, and not into the less than perfect lighting for pictures, I told Marcus I was done taking pictures and ready to go have lunch. He asked to take one more and (since he is so cute) I obliged. I ran over to set the timer on the camera and when I returned to my spot by Marcus, he was down on one knee, pulling the ring from Kimberly’s Diamond Corner out of his pocket. I’ll keep the words he asked and those sweet couple of moments for the privacy of my heart, but it was the best moment of my life thus far.

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~The Flannel~

     Are you wondering where the flannel comes in to this story? Well, like I said, we were going camping with some friends that weekend (& left pretty much right after getting engaged!). It was my very first time ever going camping and I. LOVED. IT. It was a little chilly, hence the Flannel, and A LOT beautiful. I love being surrounded by mountains! It was a very memorable weekend and loved that my fashion consisted of Flannel & Diamonds.

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There you have it! That is our sweet engagement story! God is good! Pray for us as we prepare for the sacrament of Marriage!

Blessings (and the longest blog post ever!),

Laura :)

7 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Such a beautiful story, Laura. You and Marcus are truly blessed to have found one another.
-Elizabeth

Colby said...

Such an amazing story. So happy for you!!!

Colby said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. Croft said...

I love you Lauralou (-:

flipflopsandguinness said...

Laura, this is a great post and such a great story. I love how strong your faith is in life, love and God. I don't know anyone else who deserves as much as happiness as you do. Good luck to you both! :)
~Tricia~

Sarah Danley said...

Laura not only do you have a knack for photography but also with words...such a beautiful story :)

hello, my name is emily said...

Hi sister! What a BE-U-TEE-FUL story . . . I cried a bit as I read :) You are gorgeous and I am so thankful to be almost related to such a faithful and humble woman as yourself. You and Marcus are IN MY PRAYERS constantly these days. God bless you as you prepare for your marriage, whoop whoop!

Emily

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