How are you, friend?

Are you excited about Valentine’s Day? How can I pray for you? You’ve all been on my heart and mind — and I wanted to remind you how deeply and lavishly YOU ARE LOVED. xo

While I’ve got love on my mind, I thought I’d share my love story with Mr. John Bultema.

I’m not gonna lie — last year my marriage was tough. But God is faithful, and John and I are enjoying a really sweet, special season these days.  (So if you are also going through a rough spot—hang in there, cling to God’s Word, see a Christian counselor, and pray like crazy. You are not alone!)

Enjoy our love story.

Engaged <3

Engaged

1. How long have you and your significant other been together?

John and I started dating in December of 1999, and were married on August 5, 2000.

2. How did you meet? {What’s your “love” story?}

John was the payroll person at Mars Hill Bible Church when I joined the staff in March 1999. My fiance had recently been tragically killed (December 1998) and I was distraught, grief-stricken and broken hearted. When John and I first met, I truly thought I would be single for the rest of my life, and was not looking to date anyone. Ever.

New Years Eve 1999

John was a great friend, very understanding and a wonderful support for me and my son Jake (who was 5 at the time). John helped me get through a lot of very dark days as I grieved.

After the 1 year anniversary of David’s death, my heart felt as if had been slowly stitched back together. I was ready to find love again (smile!) and had my eyes on John. I asked him out on our first date, and I’m so glad he said “yes”. 🙂

Pic at right: Here we are New Years Eve 1999. The first time we went out as a couple. What fun!

3. How long have you been married?

We celebrated 16 years of marriage this past August. Thank You, God! 

4. Where did you get married at? Big or small wedding?

Sealed with a Kiss

We were married on August 5, 2000 @ Mars Hill Bible Church by Pastor Rob Bell Jr.

It was a pretty big wedding – 1000+ people. I loved it! 

Since I was the Children’s Director, we had a children’s choir (thanks, Deb!) plus some of my favorite worship leaders. The reception was held at the church (which used to be a mall) and my parents rented out Play World for all the kids to hang out.

It was a beautiful day celebrated by our family and friends. What a blessing!

5. Do you have any nick-names that you call one another? Do share!

Nothing crazy and creative. The usual…honey, honeypie, etc…

6. Name 3 things you love most about your honey.

1.  John has a huge heart for the world, kids and missions. I love dreaming with him.

2. John is an incredible dad. One of the best EVER. I love parenting with him.

3. John is super helpful around the house —including doing all our laundry.

4. John is very understanding about my heart for ministry and sacrifices in lots of ways to help me do what I love.

Anniversary Celebration

5. John is wise, fun, handsome, Christ-centered, hard working, resourceful and generous.

(Sorry I couldn’t stop at 3!)

7. Tell us how he proposed.

I was totally surprised! We were supposed to meet our friend/realtor at Mars Hill Bible Church to go look at houses. When we got to Mars Hill (the new site/mall which was under construction), John asked me if I wanted to check out some of the renovations.

When we entered the big room that is now the worship center, John got on one knee, had a verse on a card to read to me, and asked me to be his wife. Of course I said yes!

We went into another part of the mall, and there were my parents, John’s parents, and other dear friends. They had non-alcoholic champagne and were ready to celebrate! I was very happy, but still a little bit in shock!

8. Is he a flowers and teddy bear kind of guy for v-day, or strawberries, champagne, and rose petals?

John’s a flowers and acts of service kind of guy. 🙂 In fact, he bought me flowers last week since he knew I’d had a loooong week!

9. Are you a sunset dinner on the beach kind of girl, or pop a movie in and relax on the couch?

Definitely depends on what life is like with the kids. I’m definitely not a sunset dinner on the beach kind of girl. Lately we watch movies, make a fire, and relax on the couch due to our full family life.

I’m more of a get dressed up and go out for a fancy dinner type girl 🙂

One year John took me to a castle. Yay!

10. Tell us one thing you’d like to do with your significant one day. If you could do anything? Go anywhere?

I’d love to travel overseas and serve together. Plus a return trip to Bermuda (where we went on our honeymoon) would be a lot of fun too.  Last year, I kept hinting I’d like to go on a cruise to ancient Corinth for our 15th Anniversary. He listened! We may not have gone on a cruise, but he took me to Greece. 

11. Tell us what you plan on doing on this Valentine’s Day.

This Valentine’s Day I’m ordering heart shaped pizza for dinner. Maybe we’ll go to a movie Saturday night. It depends on a babysitter situation. Anywhere my man is, that’s where I want to be. I’m not fussy.

12. Are you asking for anything this Valentine’s day?

A nice card. Words are my love language. 🙂 Oh, and a Starbucks venti skinny vanilla latte with no foam would be ok too!

13. Give us one piece of advice of keeping a relationship strong and full of love.

Have fun together. Be flexible. Look for ways to serve each other. PRAY!

Thanks for listening to our love story.  What’s your story? I’d love to hear from YOU, dear friend!

Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*! Have a wonderful, love-filled day!

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