Shannon here: Women’s fiction author, Jennifer Slattery shares insight into her real life romance plus a chance to win a copy of her latest release, When the Dawn Breaks. Comment or answer the question at the end of this post to enter the drawing for a copy, Continental US only. Deadline: Feb 14th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Jennifer:
“You need to come home.” My husband’s voice was firm, barring all questions.
And I knew in an instant, something was wrong
Holding the phone to my ear, I stared at the children’s staff gathered in the office around me. Waiting, expectantly. I cleared my throat, swallowed. “The kids will be singing tonight, and I’ve been asked to—”
“You need to come home. And don’t make plans for tonight.”
Questions whirled through my brain. This wasn’t like Steve—to be so… demanding, with absolutely no explanation. No please or thank you. And did I mention his voice was firm? Like, conversation-over firm. A tone he rarely used with me, well, unless I was nagging. Which I hadn’t been. Because I hadn’t been around enough.
Hanging up, I sank into the chair behind me, extremely concerned. I knew I’d been busy. Like crazy busy. As the director of our church’s first ever VBS, a role I’d never held before, I’d been gone on meetings, to do prep, to shop for supplies, a LOT. Meaning, I’d spent little time at home cooking or cleaning, and I’d turned our living room into a massive craft-supply warehouse.
Clearly my husband was neglected. To the point he’d felt the need to put his foot down. And that broke my heart—that I could make him feel unimportant, even for a moment (well, actually, a week), devastated me.
And agenda or not, I needed to rectify the situation.
Breathing deep, I looked at our children’s director and shook my head. “I’m sorry, but I won’t make the family celebration tonight.” Which wasn’t a huge deal, considering we had plenty of volunteers and our worship leader had been working with the children all week. She and the others could easily handle our closing night activities.
Even so, I felt as if I was letting them. And I’d already let my husband down. It wasn’t a happy moment.
As I drove home, my gut twisted. We’d been married for five years (about), long enough to be secure in one another and our relationship. Except somewhere around year three, everything had fallen apart, landing us in a divorce lawyer’s office. Thanks to God and His immense wisdom and grace, we chose to stick it out and had grown a lot since that terrible day.
But it’d only been a couple years, and many of the painful memories from that time were still fresh. I still blew it a good deal of the time, this day, clearly, being a prime example.
With a sigh, I pulled into our driveway, cut the engine, and dashed into the house.
I’d barely had time to drop my purse on the floor when the door behind me opened and in walked two of my friend’s children. Which meant my friend was close behind.
I groaned inwardly. What were they doing here?
Breathing deep, I opened my mouth, ready to politely ask them to leave when my husband came around the corner wearing a grin and carrying a vase full of flowers.
“Happy anniversary.” He approached and, drawing me near, kissed me.
Stepping back, I blinked, looking all about me. “What?”
“Happy anniversary,” my husband repeated. “How about you go slip into that pretty crème gown of yours.”
The one I’d worn when we’d renewed our vows less than a year previously.
Tears stung my eyes as realization hit. I’d been so busy, I’d completely forgotten that day was our anniversary, and my sneaky, plotting, romantic husband had chosen not to remind me.
So he could surprise me with a wonderful night.
I don’t remember much of what we did that evening, but I do remember the way he looked at me as we walked hand-in-hand. I can’t describe it, but I suspect I don’t need to. I imagine you’ve seen that look as well—the one that speaks of love and admiration, the look that makes you feel as if you’re the most beautiful woman in the world, because in that moment, to him, you are.
About Jennifer: Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her teenage daughter and coffee dates with her handsome railroader husband. Visit with Jennifer online at http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com/.
Her debut novel, Beyond I Do, is currently on sale at Amazon for under $4 (print and kindle version)! You can get that here: http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-I-Do-Jennifer-Slattery-ebook/dp/B00MMRRCZU/
About the book – When Dawn Breaks:
As the hurricane forces Jacqueline to evacuate, her need for purpose and restitution propel her north to her estranged and embittered daughter and into the arms of a handsome new friend. However, he’s dealing with a potential conspiracy at work, one that could cost him everything, and Jacqueline isn’t sure if he will be the one she can lean on during the difficult days ahead. Then there are the three orphans to consider, especially Gavin. Must she relinquish her chance at having love again in order to be restored?
Shannon’s endorsement: Three very different stories collide in the wake of a hurricane. Jennifer Slattery’s memorable characters stir the heartstrings, grip the soul, and keep pages turning way into the A.M hours.
Read a free, 36-page excerpt here: http://issuu.com/newhopedigital/docs/slattery_sampler/1
You can buy a copy here:
Question: Have you ever gotten so busy you’ve neglected your family or friends?
Come back Feb 6th for Connie Almony!