Wednesday, June 16, 2010

2000-2010

*Originally posted on The LPM Blog.*

Curtis, I'm so thankful for ten years with you.


"This Curt Jones Guy"

June 16, 2000, is when everything changed.

I'd just finished my sophomore year of college and was one of four summer interns working in the missions department at my home church. The other interns were Kay Bridgwater, whom I'd grown up with, and Jerrell Altic, a college student from Missouri. Kay and Jerrell had met the previous summer as missions interns and by the end of it they were in l-o-v-e. The fourth intern was going to be another guy from Missouri named Curt Jones. Everyone already knew him well but I'd never met him. Strangely, our two bosses, William and Bob, seemed to think This Curt Jones Guy and I were going to hit it off and get married.

Seriously? For once I was hoping not to be distracted by a boy. I didn't really want to hear about my supposed future with some guy from Missouri named Curt Jones. At the same time, Curt Jones was having to hear about some chick named Amanda Moore down in Houston and he didn't really want to hear it either.

The week of June 16, 2000, we were in Missouri helping lead an event called Mission Vision. Mission Vision consisted of a handful of youth groups and leaders staying in Hamlin Baptist Church. We did missions training and various projects during the day and at night we had speakers, a drama group called Clear Vision, and worship with By the Tree.

After Mission Vision, This Curt Jones Guy was going to come back to Houston with us and work for the rest of the summer. I hoped that at least he'd be cool and we'd get along well.

I should mention that I didn't even want to go to Mission Vision. I can't remember how I justified to my boss, William Taylor, that I would need to come home early. He conceded and I had a plane ticket to get me home in the middle of the week. I was such a good intern! Bless my heart, we were only a week into the job and I'd not yet realized how much dying to self ministry requires. I'm definitely not done learning that lesson.

Back to June 16, 2000.

Mission Vision hadn't yet started. Jerrell, Kay and I drove over to the home of This Curt Jones Guy to pick him up and go to a water park in Branson for the day. Curtis got in Jerrell's Chevy Blazer and had his cap so low over his face that I couldn't even tell what he looked like. Of course I was trying to figure that out. Even though I was trying not to go there, I remember reasoning that if our bosses' predictions turned out to be right, I would always remember meeting him there in the driveway. But surely they were wrong.

We had a great time at Whitewater with no shortage of awkward moments. Really, who wants to be in a bathing suit the first time they meet a new co-worker? At one point we were waiting to get our tubes to take up to the top of a water slide. I was first in line and the next tube that came was a double. If I took it, then I'd have to get in it with This Curt Jones Guy I barely knew. No thank you. I let it pass and took a single. Awkward! Jerrell, of course, called attention to the weird moment and I've never lived it down.

I couldn't tell what Curt's personality was like until the four of us had a little brainstorming session while sitting in front of the wave pool on some lounge chairs. Curt was in charge of student recreation at Mission Vision and we were helping him think of a theme. Here's what we came up with in our 20-year-old humor and brilliance - The Toilet Bowl: Like the Super Bowl, but Different! Nice, right? The daily rec prizes were a plunger, a toilet paper roll, a toilet seat, and a bed pan. We spray painted everything gold. And that is how I bonded with my future husband.

That night - June 16, 2000 - found the four of us praying in Jerrell's parents' living room. We prayed for Mission Vision and for our summer serving together. I got a peek into the heart of This Curt Jones Guy as he prayed for God to be exalted.

The recreation ministry required many, many trips to Walmart and Curtis always invited me to ride along with him. I've never been a big fan of Walmart, but I have a lot of affection for this one particular store where I happened to fall in love with my husband. We've never really had a song, but we do have "our Walmart."

I remember seeing Curt's sweet Grandma Dixon for the first time. She was serving food to all the students and I thought she and Curtis looked alike. Curt's younger sister, Lindsay, was attending Mission Vision as a high school student. We shared a mirror one morning in the bathroom and I wondered if I would be getting to know her soon.

It was only by God's grace and sovereignty that I ever got the job as a missions intern. Unfortunately, I'd skipped out on the youth group experience in high school and had never been on a mission trip. We were training kids how to share their faith and I had no idea how to share mine! Every day we took a group of kids to a different setting to share their faith. Curtis took it upon himself to be my partner and teach me how to do this. I'm naturally a pretty shy person and witnessing to someone I didn't know was way, way, way outside my comfort zone. But Curtis was amazing at it. I was blown away watching him turn countless conversations with strangers toward Christ.

Not only was This Curt Jones Guy funny, not only was he great at leading rec time, not only did he have beautiful blue eyes that both of my children now have, he was passionate about leading people to Christ. I liked this guy! Curtis and I have a deep sense of partnership in ministry and there's no doubt in my mind that it's because of those times we went out and shared our faith together.

Needless to say, I decided to cancel my mid-week trip home.

On the last full day of Mission Vision, we went to do some evangelism on Commercial Street. I really liked This Curt Jones Guy but I didn't know if we would be more than friends. Another leader even asked me if we liked each other and I denied it. A few minutes later Curtis and I went into a soda fountain type of place and sat down at the counter. We ordered Dr. Peppers and hoped to share the Gospel with the server. The first thing out of the server's mouth was, "Are you two married?" It was becoming clear that God was growing our hearts together. That night we finally admitted to each other what had been obvious to everyone else.

The day after Mission Vision wrapped up, I was supposed to fly home with Kay and Jerrell and Curtis was going to drive his car down to Houston. I decided to cancel my flight - again - and make the drive with Curtis. We had twelve hours to talk about everything under the sun. Every time we make that drive from Springfield to Houston, we point out all the places we stopped on our first trip. A lot of times we play the old Shane and Shane and Enter the Worship Circle CD's we listened to. I had no idea how familiar I would become with those small towns along the road in Oklahoma. There are some very creatively named churches along the way, which inspired a game called "What would you name a church?" When we stopped to get gas in Huntsville, Texas, I called Mom and said that This Curt Jones Guy and I would be home soon and to please make Dad behave. They instantly knew.

Next week we get to celebrate our eighth wedding anniversary and our tenth year of being together. There's something so great about knowing we've been together for a decade. I love it. It feels like something to celebrate.

A few years ago my engagement ring cracked where I'd had it re-sized. I had it repaired but it was wearing very thin again. While we were in Missouri I took my engagement ring to the jeweler it was purchased from and had them make me a new white gold tiffany setting. I handed over my ring and watched the jeweler pry open the prongs and dump out the diamond. It had an unbelievable amount of gunk underneath it. If nothing else, it would look a hundred times better just from the stone being cleaned! They handed the old ring back to me empty. I waited in anticipation for five days and finally, on our way home from Silver Dollar City in Branson, I got to pick up my diamond in a brand new band. It was beautiful! My round solitaire looked so happy and shiny. It had been a long time since it looked like that. I sort of wished I'd made this investment sooner. If Curtis had given me a brand new diamond three times as big as that one it would not have thrilled me as much as seeing that same one looking just as pretty as the day he gave it to me. Prettier, really, since it represented everything that we have been through and done together.

Our marriages are somewhat like my engagement ring. The core - the diamond - holds a great love story with lots of passion and commitment. But everyday wear and tear and the occasional traumatic event can do a number on the metal that holds it together. Some of our rings could just use some polishing while others need some real restoration. God can do both! Remember that He loves marriage. He created it, after all. I'm praying that God will show each one of us a specific way we can invest in our marriage to strengthen it and bring out its beauty.

34 comments:

Kandi said...

Wow, what a great story! It's so wonderful to hear how you met and the hand that God had in it! :) My hubby and I are coming up on 10 years in October, too. 2000 was a good year to meet a spouse!! I just told him tonight that I'm the most happy I've been with our relationship since we met 10 years ago. It seems that God strengthens our bond every year.

Blessings on your family for the next 10 (and many, many more) years!~

Kandi
http://kandilandblog.blogspot.com

Kristen Love said...

Happy Anniversary! The simple things we have done alongside our husbands beofre we married them are some of the best memories!
Like riding to Walmart :-)
I met my husband at work and before we started dating, my husband and I ate lunch together almost everyday for four months. The memories of getting to know Dave are some of my favorites.

Traci said...

Happy Anniversary! I hope it was a wonderful day. God is good.

ChelseaSalomone said...

WOW! Great post! Thank you for sharing your story and Happy Anniversary!

Amanda Rooney said...

Congratulations!!

Michael and I have several "WalMart" stories. Something about small college towns - Wal Mart is usually the only place open late!!!

Wonderful story. God is so good!!

Heather said...

I loved reading this on the other blog...and I just read it again because I loved it so much!! Happy Anniversary! Our 10th one is tomorrow and we have been reflecting tonight as well. And we totally listened to those same CD's when we were dating, too! :)

Immeasurably More Mama said...

I love hearing stories of how couples met. My husband and met on a mission trip while we were in college. We were "just friends" until three years later when he offered to help me study for the GRE. I have so many sweet memories from all of those hours we spent together. We will celebrate 10 years of marriage this December.

Allyson said...

Wow - what a great post! Thank you for sharing. :)

barefootnmarried said...

I love "How We Met" stories - Yours is so stinkin' sweet :D

Nichole Kennard said...

Awesome story! It is so fun to see how God works out relationships. My husband and I took the youth minister position at Hamlin in April 2001 (just before we married in June) so that church has special meaning to us too! :)

www.kennardfamilyweb.com

Lauren Kelly said...

I read this on the LPM blog and loved it! Happy anniversary!!!! :)

Sarah said...

Happy Anniversary! :)

Shannon said...

I love this Amanda! I love to see how God allows us to meet the people we love. What a great story!

Erica said...

I loved reading "your story". Isn't God amazing at moving through time and space to accomplish his purposes! Congratulations!

Kristen said...

I loved reading this! So blessed to know the two of you!

valerie said...

What a great story Amanda. You two make such an adorable couple.

My husband & I will celebrate our 31st wedding anniversary next month. We've been friends since jr. high (attended church together) and started dating during our junior year of high school. Our kids are grown & our daughter is expecting our first grandchild....a boy! Life for us just gets better & better. We've been through tough times through the years - financially, illnesses, every day struggles.....but, I can honestly say those times made us both trust God so much more and made us much more compassionate people. God has blessed us and we are enjoying this stage of life so much.

God's faithfulness & grace has been with us all the way.

Congratulations to you both.

Love,
Valerie

Mrs. Smith said...

The only thing this post needs is a wedding photo of you two!! What an awesome story. When I get to heaven, I just want to listen to love stories all day.

Siesta OC said...

I heart you! Nothing can bond like Walmart and a gold bed pan. You parrallel about marriage was so annointed...what a great picture. Your family is in my thoughts.

PS: With your mom's stories and now yours, I can't help but laugh at your dad and how he loves you all. Bless Mr. Moore!

Jeannie (HAPPY HEART) said...

Great post! We just celebrate our 20th this month. On the eve of our anniversary, we always watch our wedding video. Its amazing how much I thought that I loved him them. Truly, with God at the center of our marriages it only gets better with time! Blessings on your next 20 years!! Enjoy every moment

Heather Bryan said...

Seriously, that just made my eyes tingle and want to produce tears. Such a beautiful and encouraging reminder of His faithfulness and protection over my marriage! L-O-V-E-D it. :)

melanie said...

I love it! what a beautiful love story you & Curtis have, and congratulations on 10 years of being together! Hope y'all have fun celebrating this week!

annalee said...

wow, a decade together! i LOVE your story!

Jeff, Sarah, and Lydia said...

What a beautiful story of God bringing 2 people together!! Love it!! Thank you so much for sharing! Love the last paragraph ... WoW!

My husband and I met through a college ministry we were both involved in and love all the memories we have as we were getting to know each other and eventually fell in love! So fun to revisit all of those!

Happy Anniversary!

www.thehallhousenews.blogspot.com

Kerry said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. My husband and I leave for Kenya in 20 days to be missionaries 1 month after our 10th wedding anniversary. (when we married I assured him I never wanted to do missions) We spent our first summer together in Branson Missouri. And know the roads between the ozrks and Texas very well as our first born brought us through those small towns more times than I can count for her brain surgery at 11 months of age in Dallas. And many more times as my husbands father began his battle with cancer while we were still in the ozarks. God moved us from that wonderful ministry to Texas to be with his father before he died and now he is moving us to Kenya to continue the ministry his parents began 30 years ago. I told many people we were just friends for about 7 months as they asked me when were getting married. Thank you God for having such greater plans than us for our mates. Proverbs 16:9. As I too was on a not looking at all sabatical when my husband came along. God bless you and your marriage. May he continue to guide you as your love and lives bring Glory to Him.
tomandkerryinkenya.blogspot.com

bethany said...

Beautifully written Amanda! Loved reading "your story"! Congrats on 8 years of marriage!

Kim said...

Enjoyed hearing your story. The fact that it was (semi) close to home just sweetened it.

Happy Anniversary!

Cindy said...

What a great story! I have a similar story meeting my husband and we are coming up on our 10th wedding anniversary. It really is something to celebrate.
Happy Anniversary to you both!

~Cindy
www.simplycindyblog.com

Penny said...

Happy Anniversary. I just read your "About" and am in the "Baby Bangs" stage right now. You make it sound so cute, as I fight with those strays every morning :) After 3 boys, we are complete and one huge perk (in my eyes) is not going thru the hair loss and regrowth stage again! LOL. I feel like a young lion growing his first mane :)

Amy T said...

Thank you so much for this glimpse into yours and Curt's love for each other. And thanks for the reminder about God restoring our marriages. Even if they are not in drastic disrepair, sometimes a nice shining up is needed. I loved this post! Hope you have a blessed anniversary.

Ashley said...

Funny I was a freshman getting to know Mel and came to the apt at Fox and you and Curt were very much in love living a distance apart. Fun that I remember something so memorable that was so new for you and Curtis! What a blessing, I have tears in my eyes b/c this weekend my parents celebrate 30 years! What a testament these years have been, the stories to reflect and the reminder of God being in control. Happy 8 years of marriage! Blessings for 70 more! Ashley

Lora said...

Blessings to you and Curtis on your anniversary. I loved hearing your story!

Lindsee said...

I'm such a hopeless romantic, so I LOVED reading this. Twice! What a testimony to God's provision and timing. I needed to remind myself of that tonight! Happy Anniversary, you two!

Lauren said...

Congratulations on 10 years of being together! That is so awesome! I love your stories, too.

hollie marie said...

What a sweet, sweet story. I also love the correlation between the wedding rings & marriage- so true!

Hollie @ Blog-o-holl*ic