Easter is my favorite holiday and always has been. Even as a child, Easter settled in my heart even more strongly than Christmas as a favorite day. A season of anticipation and delight is heralded with pussywillow buds and promise, resurrection rolls and joyous hymns of faith. Reminders all around pronounce that God kept his promise to send a Savior who truly did rise from the dead.
So, in such a season of Spiritual and earthly renewal, you may ask yourself what romance has to do with it. Here's the story.
In 1980, when I was a senior in high school, I was under a great deal of conviction. God was using that time in my life to stretch my faith and remind me I wasn't my own, I was bought with a price. A few weeks before Easter, I'd gotten into a heated debate with my best friend as we stood in the high school journalism room about faith and the existence of God. Though I was unable to persuade her to my views, the Holy Spirit was able to persuade mine. He very clearly reminded me I'd been living for myself, and needed to live for my Lord if my faith was to be evident to others. When my friend left the room, I walked up to a calendar hanging on the wall and sketched a cross on the square of April 6th, Easter. Christ had risen in my wayward heart.
That was the best Easter ever. My boyfriend at the time was under his own conviction. He was just beginning to lay hold of faith and understand something of a relationship with God. A rebel in his own right, he'd recently told me, "I want to be happy all my life, and if I can know God, then I will be happy." It was simplistic, and the road ahead would come with many bumps and sorrows, but he had truly realized the path to true joy, even when temporal happiness wouldn't always be part of the equation. We'd started attending my church together, and listening to tapes about faith.
But, I digress....
He was nineteen, I was eighteen. We both lived at home with our families, and both of us had parents who still hid Easter baskets for us. His was always an easy find -- like behind the living room chair or someplace like that. My parents, on the other hand, really liked to make me work to find the goods. We lived on two woody acres surrounded by many more acres of woods. One year my basket was way up in a random treetop, the chocolate melted into a lump by the time I found it. It could take me hours to hunt it down.
My senior year, my boyfriend and I decided to hunt baskets as a team. He'd come to my house to help me find my basket and eat dinner, then I'd go to his house and help him pluck his up from some obvious place, where we'd eat dinner again.
Right after church, we headed to my house. We arrived well ahead of my family and began the hunt. Divide and conquer -- that was the plan. We searched for quite a while. Finally, after a reconnoiter he headed off to the garage while I looked elsewhere. Five minutes later I heard the victory call. My basket was discovered in the rafters of the garage among winter sleds and other storage.
He brought it to the kitchen and handed it to me.
The first thing I noticed amidst the colored grass and goodies was a tiny box. My mom always put some kind of small gift in my Easter basket, and I rummaged for it. A few weeks earlier she'd asked if there was anything I wanted, and I told her I didn't own any rings. A pretty ring would be awesome. And there it was! I couldn't wait to see it. I flipped open the box and gaped.
What a beautiful ring! It had a thin, gold band, with black antiquing surrounding a stone that looked like a diamond.
I gasped and held it out to my boyfriend. "Look at the pretty ring my mom got me!"
His jaw dropped. I mean, it really hung there. He didn't say a word. He stared at me, perplexity and disappointment filling his hazel eyes.
My heartbeat skidded to a halt, then kicked. My words came haltingly."Mom didn't get me this, did she?"
He shook his head.
We stared at each other a moment longer as total understanding dawned on me. That stone didn't look like a diamond. It was a diamond! He'd found my basket ahead of me and slipped an engagement ring inside! I felt like an idiot. Finally I threw my arms around him. I'm not sure which of us was more stunned. Me, at becoming engaged, or him at my bizarre misunderstanding.
But, we figured things out. Eight months later, on New Year's Eve, we were married, and the romance (and sometimes confusion) has continued for over thirty-one years. Together, during all those years, we've continued our faith-walk together. We've wrestled with conviction, reveled in the joy of the Lord, struggled at times, and grown. Easter dwells in our hearts.
In 1980, God gave me two romances to last a lifetime. The first with his Son, who has loved me beyond measure, and the second with Jeff Musch, who loves me beyond my understanding.
What a wonderful memory for the beginning of your lives together. Thank you for sharing your story and reminding us again of the real reason for Easter...God's ultimate grace in the gift of His Son's life ransomed for ours!
Spurned twice since the death of her betrothed in a logging accident, Lainey Kade has become the object of talk. "That Lainey, she's a shrew all right. Not ever going to marry, likely." Fleeing heartache and flaunting convention, Lainey seeks solace instead in seeking adventure and breaking the rules.
On a journey where she hopes to put the past behind, Lainey crosses paths with Zane and Kelly Beaumont and pretends to be married. But she soon forges an adventurous companionship with these brothers whose nightmares since the Civil War have never let them return home. Following the lead of the next thrill, the ties of their friendship tighten, and Lainey denies love's rekindled spark. However, as fires rage across the Wisconsin wilderness, it may tear them each apart, and Lainey may be consumed by the fury burning inside her.
Sounds like a very intriguing story! Where can we find your book online?
Find The Red Fury on Amazon
Find The Red Fury at B & N
Find The Red Fury at CBD
Find The Red Fury at Desert Breeze (or for other formats)
Naomi's Website Naomi's Blog
Connect with Naomi on Facebook
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Naomi, thanks so much for guesting today. I enjoyed hearing your Easter romance story and learning more about you and your books.
I hope you all can stay and chat for a bit with Naomi. Hope everyone has a great day!