I definitely didn't wake up Tuesday October 20th with thoughts of engagement in my mind. In fact, my plans for the morning included saying good-bye to Rachel and her family and helping out a friend with a church project. I was also planning on walking with another friend in the afternoon, so since I finished the church project a little early I called my friend up and asked if we could move our walking time up from 2 to noon. I was so surprised when my friend very adamantly said "NO!" since she doesn't have an adamant bone in her body:). I thought that was weird, but I didn't press the issue and figured we would just go walking at 2. I found some "busy work" to keep me occupied for another hour, but I was really starting to get bored so I said good-bye to the friend at church and kind of wandered aimlessly for a while, waiting for the all-important hour of 2 o'clock!
I did notice when I left church that Nat's car was missing, and I thought that was a bit strange since he always works until 5. I didn't really think anything more about it though and just headed over to my friend's house - early! When I got to her house, my friend said her teen daughter was going to go walking with us, but she was napping at the moment, so we chatted while waiting for her to wake up.
Since it was such a gorgeous afternoon, my friend suggested playing volleyball that night and of course I jumped at the opportunity:). We decided to ask another friend and her husband to join us, so I quick e-mailed our other friend so she could respond while we were out walking. Once I e-mailed our friend, I happened to notice Ben was on chat so I asked him quickly if Nat was there with him. Ben took forever to respond to me (now I know why!) and when he finally did respond, he said he sure hoped Nat wasn't there with him since he was at home:).
I found out later that after I chatted with Ben, he texted Nat and warned Nat I was looking for him. I guess Nat and Ben thought I knew something was up, but I really was blissfully ignorant and it just appeared like I knew something:).
My friend, her kids, and I headed in the direction of the Lehigh Parkway, one of my favorite parks at which to go walking. Since my friend's daughter was with us, that added a new dimension to our usual walking pattern. I am a fast walker, but apparently I was a little too fast for my friend's daughter because she kept slowing down or texting on her phone while telling us to "wait up." I just laughed and kept right on walking:).
As we rounded a particular bend on the trail, I glanced up a hill and saw a stunning display of fall beauty in the form of four trees. I exclaimed to my friend, "Wow. Look at those trees!" and as I said that, I saw Nat walking down the hill:). I was all, "Oh hey! How are you?" and I was thinking it was so coincidental that Nat happened to be out for a stroll while we were walking. He had told me once that he had never been to the Parkway before, so I thought this was the day he chose to explore the Parkway.
I definitely wasn't thinking Nat was there for me or had planned this whole thing out and I even said to my friend's daughter, "Wouldn't it be fun to roll down the hill?!?" We were both ready to charge up the hill when my friend firmly grabbed my arm and held me back. I couldn't figure out why and even said to her, "party pooper!" My friend didn't say anything but just continued walking with her kids. I didn't mind since I liked being with Nat:).
As the others walked away, Nat pulled a dozen roses out and said they were for me. It kind of dawned on me then that this wasn't "coincidental" and I even asked Nat, "Did Paula know about this?" He said yes and I was thinking that it was very sweet of him to surprise me at the park with a dozen roses. Still no clue that engagement was in my immediate future:).
We continued walking along all the while talking about small things. Nat asked if we could slow down and I thought that was funny because something seemed different but I just couldn't put my finger on it. I figured Nat would tell me in his own good time:). He suddenly said, "Let's turn around and go back to that tree we passed" and it was at that moment that I wondered if he had something hidden at that specific tree. We turned around and went back to the tree when Nat started talking about our relationship. Once he dropped to his knee, my thought was, "Oh my goodness... he's going to propose!" He then pulled the ring out and asked me if I would marry him... of course I said yes:).
My practical side kicked in right away and I commented that I didn't even know my ring size - neither did he for the record, but that was ok:). We decided to walk back to my friend and her kids and as we did, I was still in a bit of shock that he had actually proposed! My friend couldn't wait to rub it in my face that she knew before I did and got to have a part in the whole plan:).
We decided to go back to "our" tree to have some pictures taken, which was very nice:). Nat was able to send out an e-mail to our Pastor and some close friends telling them of our engagement. We came back to my parents' house and told my mom about our engagement and then headed out to Olive Garden for dinner:).
It was such a precious and sweet afternoon. Down to the last detail, Nat did a fantastic job in surprising me! I'm so very thankful to the Lord for the wonderful and godly man HE has brought into my life. I am completely undeserving of having the Lord bless me in this way, but I'm so grateful for His moving and working in our lives.
We do have a wedding date set ~ July 10, 2010! Make sure you save the date:). It's just under 8 months away, but I'm sure that time is going to go by so extremely fast:). If I have any doubt as to that fact, I just have to look back and remember how quickly the time went while I was in Thailand!
I do want to share one more thing. Several years ago, the Lord gave me a special verse from Ruth 3:18 ~ "Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day." I'm glad I can look back now and see that the sitting still part on my end has been worth it all! If you're interested, here's a link to a blog I started 2.5 years to journal some thoughts I had on singleness: For Such A Time As This.
All I can say is God has been so good to me!
~I love you, Nat!~