Welcome A very important goal I have with this blog is that people will see the power of prayer and how God works in our lives, even when circumstances might seem a little odd or strange. I share stories from my own life so others will see a life of prayer at work, even when it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, or easy. I have shared how I believe strongly in prayer and how God will answer those prayers in His way and in His timing. The meeting and marrying of my husband is another example of God’s power in my life, and even when I don’t understand all of the twists and turns on the path, He is leading me to the best possible place I can be. Today I am sharing the real life story of how I met my husband and the real faith it took to get me there. And in the end I have a comforting broccoli cheese soup recipe to share. Note-I may receive small compensation from advertisers and affiliate links seen on this blog. For further information, please see my terms and disclosure page.
Food For Thought I attended a Christian university for my undergraduate studies, and I loved being there so much. But getting an education was only part of the goal at this university. Even during my high school visits, I was asked by people at the university if I was attending to get my “MRS degree.” You see, it was heavily focused on that a young lady or man attending this university was meant to find a fellow Christian, get married, and have lots of little ones, and live happily-ever-after. That’s a great idea…in theory. I said it was heavily focused on, when actually I could say it was pushed. And I fell right into that mindset. I went four hours away from home to attend college, fully intending to get my education degree and marry a “perfect” Christian man.
I didn’t date in high school. I had crushes, for sure. I was that girl that the guys could be buddies with, but I was not “dating material.” There are two sides to that coin, one side being that I was a “good girl” which didn’t interest a lot of boys. The other side being that I just wasn’t pretty or popular enough. It seems petty, but it was truth…we all know how high school works! So I had high expectations for this college dating thing. There would be all of these boys that had beliefs like me, and in my mind, Christian boys wouldn’t be so shallow. Ha, ha, ha! There were definitely a lot of really nice guys there who shared my beliefs, but it was the same thing again…I made a good buddy, for watching football, playing tennis, joking around in the student center, but I was not “dating material.” I had good times and good friends, going out with different guys occasionally for fun. But watching everyone around me finding their “soul mates” became very depressing. I did not understand God’s purpose in all of this. I was a nice girl with life goals, trying to do everything “right.” I wanted to be a Christian wife and mother, more than anything. So why wasn’t God answering my prayers about finding a mate? He was…he was saying “Not yet, Robin, someone else needs you later.”
I certainly was not the only girl that was experiencing this difficult transition in life. There was a book titled Lady in Waiting that became very popular on campus, and somewhat of a badge of honor for us single ladies. We read and discussed this book that was offering Biblical wisdom for why we needed to wait for God’s perfect timing in finding a mate and how to use our time of waiting to become better Christian women. It really was a great book, but I still prayed, and cried, not understanding. I kept asking God “What is wrong with me? Am I always going to be single and alone?” I was asking the wrong questions. Nothing was wrong with me. I should have been asking God how to use me best during my single years and how to best prepare for when I did have a significant other in my life. As graduation approached, I was sad to be leaving my friends and my “home.” I was also sad that I didn’t graduate with an “MRS degree.” And then I was off to “the city” with my U-Haul trailer and I didn’t know a single person!
Age 22, single in the city, completely independent, starting a brand-new career. I can do this! The first thing I did was find a church to attend. This was the one way I knew to connect with people, and hey, maybe there will be some single guys, too. No single guys there! Well, one, about ten years older than me and extremely shy, and completely uninterested. Bummer. How was I going to meet single men in this vast city? I don’t meet many single men in my teaching profession, I don’t go to bars or clubs, and I’m a member at an all-women’s gym. Sigh. I made new friends (female) at work and got involved in my church. I was living life as a normal 20-something should. But I had this emptiness, still. I had never had a “real” boyfriend. All of my college friends were married and starting to have children. Now understand, I really wasn’t that old to still be single. I merely felt that way because of the way marriage and family responsibilities were pushed at young people while in college. In my Bible study group, we had talked a lot about the power of prayers and HOW to pray. I took it to heart. In my frustration of not meeting any guys, I decided to take it to God, but in a different way. This wasn’t just whining in my head or asking for a certain guy to ask me out. This was full-fledged, on my knees, hands clasped, and tears flowing kind of prayer. It was not a short prayer. I think I prayed for nearly an hour, pouring out every feeling and emotion to the ONE who truly listens and cares. This was so much better than complaining to my girlfriends or mom about the situation. I FELT God’s compassion and grace and presence in that room. I asked God to show me what to do or to give me the peace to just let it go. And I felt better…calm and at peace…and I went to bed.
The very next day, when I came home from work I received a phone call. The first words the person said were “Are you interested in meeting high-quality singles in your area?” Are you kidding me? The timing! Under normal circumstances, I would have hung up the phone and scoffed at the idea! But this day was different. I know a lot of people would not believe this, but I really felt God telling me to do this, he was saying “I’m answering your prayers, my child.” So, to cut a long story somewhat shorter, I signed up for a dating service based in our region. I did all of my profiles, but money was tight for me, so the cost was a little scary. Five matches didn’t seem like enough, but 20 matches was way too expensive. I was definitely being nudged to the 10 match package. When I first did this, I was a little embarrassed to tell people. I thought there would be some kind of stigma, like “only losers need a dating service.” This, of course, was not true, and I know many people now that have had success with similar services. When I shared with some ladies at church about the prayer and circumstances, they said they also felt like it was a blessing from God. I will spare you the dramatic details of meeting people through a match-making service! Nothing dangerous, but I definitely met some people that weren’t nice! It was very frustrating, but at the same time, I was so busy with work, church, and friends, that I didn’t get depressed about it anymore. I had cast all of my anxieties on Him. The end of my paid matches was approaching and I had already made up my mind I wasn’t going to do this again and just chalked it all up to experience. But in August of 2002 I met my NINTH match out of my ten. He made me feel the most relaxed of any of the guys I had met. He was a gentleman. He seemed genuinely interested in me and what was going on in my life. You may have guessed…the ninth person I met with this dating service would later become my husband. Now, I won’t say it was love at first sight…but maybe second. I have always loved pink roses. I joked with my roommate in college that I would marry the first man that gave me pink roses. Six years after making that comment, this man gives me pink roses on our second date. It was a sign, and I knew it. This was the man I had been waiting for all of these years. And we were married on Memorial Day in 2004. I didn’t know all of the whys at the time, but God has enlightened me in our thirteen years of marriage why were meant to be together. We needed each other and it needed be in the right time and place. I’m not always patient and it’s not always easy, but I can look back now and I am incredibly thankful that God gives us what we NEED, WHEN we need it.
Today’s Scriptures Prayer and belief go a long way in helping us achieve what we want in life. Having God on our side and asking for his direction is always the better option.
James 5:13-16 “Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
Mark 9:23-24 “If you can?’ said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for him who believes.’ Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.”
Today’s Recipe A way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I was depending on that being true, because one thing I can do, is cook yummy food, even if it’s not always pretty. In our dating years, many of our times together were spent enjoying a meal I had prepared and just watching TV or movies. One of the very first meals I prepared for him was this Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup. I have made some improvements to the recipe since then, including using fresh, not frozen, vegetables and adding cream cheese for richness. While this soup contains no oil, butter, or cream, I STRONGLY recommend using full-fat cheese products for high quality melting. And sometimes, just to be crazy, I throw in some cauliflower florets too.
Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup
- 1 pound of broccoli, cut into florets
- 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 1 TBS minced garlic
- 1 tsp EACH dried oregano, basil, thyme
- 1/2 tsp EACH salt and pepper (you can add more to taste at serving)
- 4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 12-oz can evaporated milk
- 16-oz cheddar block, shredded
- Place vegetables, seasoning, cream cheese, and stock in slow cooker. Cook on low for 4-5 hours or high for 2 hours. Stir in evaporated milk and cheese. Turn off heat and place lid back on pot. Stir again after 15 minutes, and continue to stir until desired texture is achieved.