Shannon here: Contemporary Fiction author, Charity Hawkins shares her real life romance and a chance to win her book, The Homeschool Experiment. Every time you comment on any post dated April 30 – May 4, your name goes in the drawing for three different books this week. Deadline: May 9th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Charity:
I could tell you all about how my husband and I met at church, discovered we worked two floors apart in the same fifty-story downtown building, started running together, then served in our church’s Awana program together, and somewhere along the way, fell in love.
But that’s not the real love story.
The real love story is how, during the first few of years of marriage, my husband learned to ask heart-level questions because that’s what showed love to me, and I learned that yelling at him was not, surprisingly, the ideal way to his heart.
The real love story has been how, during the next six years of marriage, during my exhaustion and frequent sicknesses, my husband prayed with me, came to doctor appointments with me, and didn’t get annoyed when the house was a mess. Once the Lord led us to some answers within the past year or two, I eliminated gluten and a few other big allergens from my diet and have been the healthiest I think I’ve ever been. I finally would wake up in the mornings and feel rested, and I at last could go two weeks without a new infection.
Once I started to feel “like a normal person,” I started to have energy again, and God gave me the idea to write a novel. When I told my husband that I thought I might want to write a novel (I had never before considered such a thing), to his credit he did not say, “Are you nuts?” He actually encouraged me in this crazy idea, providing it didn’t take over our lives.
Um, yeah. It kinda took over our lives. I apologized.
But my husband has been my biggest encouragement every step of the way, watching the kids for hours when he got home from work so I could write, or edit, or set up my blog. He has, again, not complained when the house was a mess or when dinner was Wendy’s. He prayed with me and encouraged me when it looked like everything would fall apart. And he’s celebrating with me now that the project is (mostly) done. (I’m not planning to write another novel for at least 20 years.)
His selfless acts of service are like diamonds to me. Better in fact, because they are gifts of the heart. I try to tell him how much I appreciate all he does, all his work, how he jumps on the trampoline with the kids and reads the Bible to them, how he encourages us to go to church on those days when I’d rather sleep in, how he anchors us all in his love.
So many times I have asked my husband what I can do for him. He is a quiet sort, not given to grand dreams or outlandish ideas. Do you know what he says? Well, sometimes he says he’d like to go for a run. But mostly he says, “All I want is for you to be happy.” My eyes fill with tears writing that. I mean, it’s ridiculous. But it’s true. And I am.
So to me, our love story wasn’t the one of courtship, or engagement, or honeymoons. It is the one written day by day, line upon line, in sickness and in health, when it’s easy and when it’s hard.
And isn’t that how all great love stories are written?
About Charity & the book: Charity Hawkins* is the author of The Homeschool Experiment: novel—one mom’s year of dinner, diapers, meltdowns, and math lessons. Sample the first three chapters at www.thehomeschoolexperiment.com/order . The book is available in paperback or Kindle versions. Like the book on Facebook for information about giveaways, book signings, and conference locations.
* Charity Hawkins is a pen name, because the real author wrote candidly about her family’s life and wants to protect their privacy, because she doesn’t want to be famous, and because no one can pronounce or spell her real name. She does actually exist, however, and lives with her husband and three actual children in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They are in their fourth year of homeschooling.
Other drawings for the week: K Dawn Byrd’s Shattered Identity and Cara Putman’s Rainbow’s End. Three drawings, three winners.
Come back April 7th for contemporary romance author, Valerie Comer.