Shannon here: I first met Women’s Fiction author, Jennifer Slattery at an ACFW conference. She’s been on my blog before, but now she’s here as a published author. I’m thrilled to have Jennifer share insight into her real life romance plus a chance to win a copy of her debut novel, Beyond I Do. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for a copy in winner’s choice of print or e-book format. Deadline: Oct 25th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Jennifer:
Love is a funny thing. It starts with a quickened pulses, roses, and candlelight dinners. With you spending hours in front of the mirror trying on countless outfits, wondering which one will catch your beau’s eye. Meanwhile, your date’s at home nicking himself with the shaver then dabbing on a bit too much shaving cream, all to stir your heart.
Then comes marriage, with children, house payments, job changes, and struggles.
Struggles that could tear a couple apart but somehow draw them closer and deepen their bond. Because it’s then that you realize how strong your love truly is, and there are some things you don’t notice until years of living together.
Like how your husband rubs his head when he’s deep in thought, or how he loves to laugh at commercials. Or how he’ll jump out of bed to greet his daughter when she gets home from youth group. Or how ferociously protective he can be when he senses his family’s in danger.
Romance might begin with a fluttering stomach, but deep, forever love takes time and a fair amount of pain.
My husband and I have been married for nineteen years, and early in our relationship, we could hardly sit still. We hiked, biked, rock-climbed, swam, and played basketball and volleyball. We’d drive hours just to go out to dinner and talked endlessly about our next cross-country road trip.
But then I got sick, and my energy waned.
And as the years wore on, his hip began to hurt.
Soon, our hikes turned to quiet, neighborhood strolls, and we traded our time on the court for cuddles on the couch.
We also gained padding around our midsections, wrinkles, and gray hair, and though our spouse still caused our pulses to quicken, we worried our aging appearance failed to do the same.
At first, we both felt guilty, insecure, as if we were less desirable to the other. Of course, we never voiced this out loud, maybe because we feared speaking our fears would make them so.
But then one evening, on a particularly hot day, as we walked hand-in-hand, I began to slow. From the corner of my eye, I noticed my Romeo began to limp. When I questioned him about this, he chuckled and looked at me with that adorable, crooked smile I’ve grown to love and said, “We’re quite a pair, aren’t we?”
“Absolutely,” I replied, twining my fingers through his, and it was at that moment that I realized, that—the limping, slowing, padding, and wrinkles—is what forever love is all about.
As for a quickened pulse and tummy flutter? That never has to fade.
About Jennifer: Jennifer Slattery writes missional fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes Christian Living articles for Crosswalk.com, writes and edits for Christ to the World Ministries, and writes devotions for her personal blog, JenniferSlatteryLivesOutloud, and Internet Café Devotions. When she’s not writing, her and her husband are probably sitting at a coffee shop somewhere, him reading a sports article on his phone while she loses herself in a great novel. Learn more and connect: http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com, https://www.facebook.com/#!/JenSlatte, https://twitter.com/Jenslattery
About the book – Beyond I Do:
Will seeing beyond the present unite them or tear them apart?
Marriage . . . it’s more than a happily ever after. Eternally more.
Ainsley Meadows, raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignite a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancé. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.
Read a free, 36-page excerpt here: http://issuu.com/newhopedigital/docs/beyond_i_do_sample?e=6362996/8842858
Question: How has an important relationship in your life changed as both parties have aged?
Come back Oct 15th for part 2 with Jennifer Slattery!