Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sunny Days Are Here To Stay!

WARNING: Incredibly lengthy blog entry ahead! Read at your own risk!

Yesterday was a great day. The sun was shining brightly with hardly a cloud in sight, the temperatures were climbing steadily, and the mountains were capped with fresh snow after a week-long winter storm. It was the perfect day for skiing...and engagements.

Of course, preparation for this day had begun weeks before. First, I had talked with each of the parents and asked their blessing on this important step. (Unbeknownst to Sunny, the last blessing was obtained on Valentine's Day!) I also had consulted with close friends and counselors. By Thursday, I was fasting and praying one last time. Finally, I was ready to propose!

So yesterday I took Sunny skiing at Snow Summit Mountain Resort in Big Bear. We had a great time enjoying the beautiful scenic views of the lake and the non-black diamond ski runs. Luckily, we both were at the same approximate level of expertise. Naturally, one of us was more graceful of a skier and the other was more daring. (Note to self: next time don't wipe out so much in front of Sunny.) At this point, Sunny had no idea that a proposal was imminent.

By lunchtime, we were ravenously hungry (and one of us had a bruised ego and needed to regroup). After a lunch that I was supposed to make but Sunny ended up making because I ran out of time, I left to return our leftovers to the car while Sunny bravely stayed behind to guard our cheap, nondescript rental skis. Secretly, I stashed several gifts in my spacious ski jacket (borrowed from Al) while trying not to look too bulky. On my return, I barely managed to avert certain disaster when, as Sunny gave me a side-hug, her arm almost squeezed one of the gifts hidden in the side pocket of my coat. I was ready to propose but getting a little nervous.

To my dismay, the first lift we rode to the top of the mountain carried us to the wrong peak (I wanted to propose on the higher peak at 8,200 feet). I ended up having to ski all the way down the mountain (1,150 vertical feet) with some very fragile and expensive cargo, hoping I wouldn't fall like this guy. Not the best way to earn points with a girl, I suppose.

We finally got to the right mountaintop (that's 5 points for me!) and found a private deck (+3) overlooking a gorgeous mountain vista (+3). With practiced flair (+1), I pulled the first gift from my pocket. It sparkled in the sunlight (+2). After the appropriate oohs and aahs were over, I announced the next gift. Sunny was impressed that there even was another gift (+10). This gift elicited unabashed wonder and admiration for its delicate beauty (+2). Ah, but there was still one gift left. I dropped to a knee and presented the final gift. It was wrapped around an expensive-looking pillow in a special box (+3). I had even remembered to remove the price tag first (+10).

Perhaps now would be a good time to reveal the gifts and explain their background significance, in order of presentation.
Gift 1: Picture frame with a photo of us on one side and a Bible text on the other

I have to give credit to Mel for the idea, and to Matt Parra, our current Restoration speaker, for actually shopping with me and finding the perfect frame. Now as I look back, I can just imagine shards of broken glass piercing my body as I crash awkwardly to the snow with the picture frame in my pocket.

At any rate, I definitely wanted to include this particular Bible text somewhere in the proposal. The verse is taken from Psalms 127:1, "Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it." It represented our past, how we learned to let go of our own desires and allow God to fashion our lives according to His will. See my previous post.

Gift 2: a fresh-cut pink tulip with accompanying note

Although I visited a half dozen stores, I couldn't find any tulips the day before. Even the florists (that were open on Sunday) weren't carrying them. Nearing despair, I finally found potted tulips (Thanks K-mart!). I cut a blossom that morning and gingerly carried it up the slopes in a battery-less flashlight (hidden in my jacket of course).

The accompanying message was a quotation from the book Adventist Home p. 50: "Love is a plant of heavenly growth, and it must be fostered and nourished." This represented our present relationship and the love that we were cultivating together.

Gift 3: a simple yet elegant watch

I spent a day and a half shopping with Adrian until I found the perfect watch (which also happened to be the same watch I saw at the first store). It was a Seiko watch with a rectangular face and a narrow, two-tone wristband. As you might expect, it represented our future.

By this time, Sunny was beginning to catch the drift of where I was heading. And more importantly, she was completely surprised (+7). Early that morning, I had crafted an eloquent and moving speech designed to tug at the heartstrings (+2), but as I stared into Sunny's eyes, all the lines I had carefully composed fled from me
(-15). I did remember to mention how much I had come to admire and respect her over the last four years. I also reminded her how divine intervention had led us together. The impromptu speech ended with "Will you marry me?"

She said, "I will." (+1811)

The final surprise of the day was orchestrated by Sunny's sister. Melody and her friends decorated their house to reproduce the ambiance of a romantic restaurant, aptly named "Love Bird Cafe." Some close friends were there to share the moment (and meal) as well as hear our story which Sunny happily recounted. More photos can be seen here.

Truly, Sunny and I are grateful to God for His divine guidance throughout this journey. We also appreciate friends and family who support us and celebrate with us. We hope you have been blessed by reading this latest installment of our saga, and if you want to know more of our story, just come ask us!


Blogger Adrian Zahid said...

Congratulations Tim. I am glad everything worked out well. God has really blessed this relationship and I am certain that both of you will play an important role in His Cause.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008 11:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am SO happy with you both! I am glad the frame didn't shatter, the tulip didn't squish, and the watch didn't get lost waiting for the right moment.

What precious friends and sister to put that unique Love Bird Cafe on for you!

As you venture forth in your new relationship may the Tender Shepherd who promises to care for every step be your constant Companion and Leader.

Laurel Damsteegt

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 3:42:00 AM  
Blogger Norman McNulty said...

Congratulations Tim! I'm so happy for you and Sunny. God has truly blessed you to bring Sunny into your life. I look forward to seeing how your wedding plans unfold.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 7:07:00 AM  
Blogger skime said...

Awww...I am sitting here shedding tears over my soymilk and granola...no, seriously, I'm am so excited!! Congratulations to you both!!!!! (lots of exclamation marks) Now for the question you'd expect me to ask next...do you need any special music for your wedding? ;)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 8:58:00 AM  
Blogger Joelle said...

SOOOO happy for you two! Congratulations all over again. We're so thankful for God's leading in your lives.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 9:36:00 AM  
Blogger Andrew and Monica Nelson said...

Congratulations! We are so happy for both of you! We have been hoping for this for a long time! God is so good!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Alistair said...

Amazing! Smashing! Marvelous! Wonderful! Brilliant! Splendiferous! (Insert other fitting adjectives here)

I'm glad that my jacket was of such pivotal assistance in your mission. :-) I'm glad Tim didn't tumble like that guy on the video either.

Blessings to both of you as you enjoy the whirlwind of wedding preparations in the next few (short!) months. (I'm afraid my ski jacket won't be much assistance there...sorry.)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger MissionSK said...

Hey Tim! Congrats! So nicely planned! Dad was impressed! Hey Sunny said on her blog you took the video of your proposal.... when can we see that? Now our next thing is your wedding. I guess we won't see you untill then, huh?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 2:11:00 PM  
Blogger April McNulty said...

Yes! I am so excited!!!! When I first saw your blog post I thought...Tim asked Sunny to marry him and you did! Congratulations! I am very happy for you both!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 3:17:00 PM  
Blogger Melody said...

Yes, I am soooooo happy for you both!!! And I've been shedding tears thinking about it all....happy tears to see the Love God has been building in your lives (your story has been an inspiration to me), sad tears that I will soon be losing one of my favorite roommates (my sister), and happy tears again that I'll be gaining such an awesome brother-in-law!!

Remember what I told you on the phone the night before Tim, as you worried about last minute details?? "Don't stress! It will work out beautifully, because as for God, His way is perfect!" And....it looks like it did!! ;-) Congratulations to you both!!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 6:54:00 PM  
Blogger Melody said...

By the way Tim, despite losing 15 points for forgetting your planned speech during the proposal, you still ended up with a grand total of 1,844 points!! Me thinks that might be pretty significant and a good indicator for the promising future ahead of you as you prepare to meet Christ together.

You're quite the man Tim!! Way to go, my dear brother to be! ;-)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 7:22:00 PM  
Blogger M Prewitt said...

Congratulations, Tim! "Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD." Proverbs 18:22.

Thursday, February 28, 2008 5:58:00 AM  
Blogger Eagle said...

Congratulations! May God bless you both!

Mom and Dad

Thursday, February 28, 2008 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger jshives said...

Congrats to you both. We know great things will come from this marriage. May you have thousands of children together.

Jason & Janelle

Thursday, February 28, 2008 6:54:00 PM  
Blogger Ryan Lim said...

dudee.. congratulationss!! May God continue to guide and direct both your lives =)

Thursday, February 28, 2008 11:12:00 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Excellent! Wonderful story. Congratulations. Very happy for you both. Looking forward to updates on dates. It has been a blessing to watch you two for several years. The smiling faces in all the pictures indicate what a bless your lives have been to many people. I know that together you will do an even greater work for God. May God bless your future together! Eric and Rachel

Friday, February 29, 2008 2:13:00 PM  
Blogger AMcNulty said...

Hey Tim, so glad to hear the good news. I have been away traveling and this has made my night to read this post. I praise the Lord for how He has led in you all getting together. Take care.

Friday, February 29, 2008 7:46:00 PM  
Blogger Israel said...

Tim & Sunny,

We are so happy for the both of you! Israel says, "Tim, you got lucky". haha! Judy says, "I agree". HAHA! God's richest blessings and we love you both!

the Ramoses

Friday, February 29, 2008 7:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Alan and Nicole said...

What fun! Congratulations, Tim and Sunny! Marriage is amazing; I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Blessings to you! Give us an update on when your wedding is!


Alan and Nicole

Saturday, March 01, 2008 4:41:00 AM  
Blogger zestos said...

Congratulations, you two! Marriage is great...you won't regret it!
the Whitings :)

Saturday, March 01, 2008 5:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great job, Timothy! so well thought of, so meaningful, so lovely...

Both of you have an inspiring love story and your love for each other has digged deep and founded upon the Rock indeed. May God continue to bless and guide you both.

Welcome Sunny Days!

The Iamsureys

Saturday, March 01, 2008 9:06:00 PM  
Blogger Staci said...

So very happy for you both! I know it has been a long wait but so worth it. He has made everything beautiful in His time! I only have one question, do all those points add up to some significant, important number. I didn't take the time to do the math to find out.

Sunday, March 02, 2008 7:27:00 AM  
Blogger prkirkpatrick said...

Super congrats! What more can I say! LK

Monday, March 03, 2008 7:43:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen McNulty said...

That is awesome! Very happy for you.

Sunday, March 09, 2008 3:05:00 PM  
Anonymous michelle said...

I'm late in my congratulations!!! But here it is CONGRATULATIONS!!! Truly, truly, truly, truly, truly, truly happy for the both of you. Major props on your risky feat...you came out triumphant and won your princess in the end. *laugh* God's richest blessings on the both of you!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008 8:43:00 AM  
Blogger Gemma said...

TIM! I just read the news via Norm & Joelle's blog... Hallelujah for matches made in Heaven! And congrats for successful execution of a beautiful proposal. Hope to see u while we're in CA for grad weekend!

Saturday, March 15, 2008 12:05:00 AM  
Blogger Larie said...

I'm soooooooooooooooooo happy for both of you!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just knew God would bring you back together!!! I can't wait to come visit.

Sunday, March 16, 2008 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger limkenfl said...

Seiko Watch, Nice work....
p.s. oh yeah, one word, snowchains......

Monday, March 17, 2008 1:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think I've ever seen a happier couple. We are so happy and excited for you. Another amazing story of the benefits of trusting in God. Thanks for the example and witness you have set. We're looking forward to many good times together and excited about adding a son to our family.

With Love,

Mom and Dad Holland

Wednesday, March 19, 2008 12:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Jolene Smith said...

Congratulations Tim and Sunny!!! You make an adorable couple. It is awesome to see how God has brought you together. I'm excited for you both! =) Jolene

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 8:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Don Mackintosh said...

Tim & Sunny,
What wonderful news. I've been blessed by your account of this courtship and the patient respect you've had for others. I'm also blessed by your shared reverence for God and His ways, may it always continue! I pray that you wedding as well as your new life together will continue to bring glory to God.
Don Mackintosh

Sunday, April 20, 2008 8:01:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home