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Below are some excerpts from our personal journals. These entries are just before and after our engagement on January 5th, 2000.

Dave’s Journal 1/5/00

At Dave's house in the chair...Lord God, you are mighty – sovereign – you provide providence. Thank you Lord! Lord – Holy Spirit – be with me today and Karin. Bring a peace about us Lord so that tonight goes smoothly. I pray for the whole situation Lord. The little things, like getting the cookies there early and the big things – her answer to marriage with ME! Lord God, this is from you. Thank you for your providence in this whole thing. This relationship has been AWESOME!

Karin’s Journal 1/6/00

In Dave's Basement...I’m engaged to Dave Miller! Hallelujah! I’m so excited and sure! Praise you Lord for your confirmation in my heart! Your timing is perfect! Never late – help me to remember that…Praise you Lord for your blessing!…

**I continued the entry by jotting down key memories from the night of our engagement, but decided that so much of it was significant that I should write the entire story for future preservation. So, here’s OUR story J **

…January 3rd, 2000, was exactly one year from the date Dave and I met. He told me that he’d like to pick a night to celebrate, so we set a dinner date for Wednesday, January 5th. On Tuesday, January 4th, 2000, I remember wondering if perhaps this was my last night as a single young woman. Dave had claimed he needed a night to himself, even though my Bible study was cancelled and I was free. I knew that on Wednesday night, we were supposed to meet for our "One-Year-Meeting-Each-Other-Anniversary" celebration. Dave surfed the Web and found a list of the top ten restaurants in the Twin Cities. Kincaids was ranked #1, the "best special event restaurant." "After all, isn’t this a special occasion?" Dave had asked me. Yes, I agreed, but internally I wondered how special Dave wanted it to be.

Dave said he’d pick me up and wear his suit with the new shirt and watch I had given him for Christmas. In the year I had known him, I had never seen him wear his suit, so it shocked me that he would volunteer to wear it! All of these things made me wonder. Yet when Dave arrived on Wednesday, he seemed too casual, too relaxed and easy-going to have been planning anything that significant.

The restaurant atmosphere was wonderful: soft lighting, lots of green plants and trees, and elegant rose-mahogany wood furniture. I remember admiring Dave against that background. He looked the most handsome that night that I had ever seen him, and I told him so. My heart soared with gratefulness, love and excitement.

At Kincaids Restaurant...

The food was succulent; I had a lamb dish that had been cooked in a phenomenal marinade topped with a breaded rosemary, garlic, Dijon mustard topping; it even came with a bit of mint sauce on the side. Dave had the most warm, melt-in-your-mouth salmon I’ve ever tasted and crab-cakes. We took our time eating, trying to pace ourselves and extend our stay in this very enjoyable and special place.

After the meal, the waitress cleared our plates. Then she brought out cream-colored, softly folded cookies on plates sprinkled with powdered sugar. She said they were just a little after dinner treat for us to have while we thought about whether or not we wanted desert.

I picked mine up and noticed that something was in it. "Oh, they’re like little fortune cookies," I realized as I pulled out a slip of paper. Mine read:

"Our enthusiasm has turned into love.

Our love is meant for a lifetime."

Our meal time at Kincaids...

I was shocked at how relevant it was! On our first real "date" Dave had given me a deep peach/orange rose and asked me if I knew what the color signified. I knew "red" meant love and "white" meant friendship, but concerning the meaning of "peach" or "orange" I had no idea. He told me that "orange" represented "enthusiasm," that he was enthusiastic about us J . Then on our six-month anniversary I gave Dave two red roses and one peach rose with the message: "Our enthusiasm has turned into love." I exclaimed, "Oh my gosh! Wow! Dave you won’t believe this! This one really fits us! What does yours say?"

Dave replied, "No, you read yours first." He really wanted me to go first but I argued with him saying, "No, you go first! We need to save the best for last and I know that this one will be the best; I just know it!" Dave finally conceded and read his message:

"Behold, you will soon be giving up

your spare garage door opener."

This totally stumped me! It didn’t make sense at all! It seemed totally opposite the tone of my fortune and the sophisticated atmosphere of the restaurant.

It also struck me as being a bit amusing as well. I took the slip of paper from Dave and said, "That’s hilarious. I can give that one to my Dad!" (Dad had just bought the family a second garage door opener and had given it to me for the time being.)

Then before I realized what was happening, Dave had pulled up a ring box and set it open on the table before me. He leaned forward, looking into my eyes and said, "Will you marry me?"

It was like everything stopped for a few seconds. I was stunned. I couldn’t quite figure it all out. How did we go from garage door openers to this???

I remember glancing at the fortunes and the ring trying to piece it all together. Mostly I remember looking up at Dave’s eyes as a thrill such as I have never experienced coursed through me. It felt like a tremor of awe and excitement that came from the core of my being. It hit me instantaneously as I caught the glimmer of the ring out of the corner of my eye and heard Dave’s words: "Will you marry me?"

After a couple seconds I nodded and said, "Yes, yes." I knew my answer without thought or hesitation was "Yes!". I just knew that this is what I wanted! As I had been admiring Dave at dinner, I remember wishing that he would propose and a bit disappointed as I thought he was too at ease to have been plotting anything that significant.

Our first picture together...

After I said yes, I remember us staring at each other, with me probably still trying to figure it all out and marveling at this unexpected bliss, and Dave probably searching my eyes to see if I was sure. I think he explained briefly that he had made the cookies, written the fortunes, and dropped them off at Kincaids on the way down to get me. All the work he had put into this overwhelmed me with the sense that I was truly, truly loved. I know tears welled up, and I couldn’t talk much for fear of streaming over. Then I thought to look at the ring; the diamond was so stunning and brilliant! It was a large, round solitaire that seemed to catch every beam of light in the restaurant and throw it back out again in a shimmer of celebration. I slid it on and showed Dave. It looked perfect on my hand, like it belonged there.

Then there were moments of silence, of squeezing each other’s hands, looking into each other’s eyes, and glancing down at the ring on my finger held in his palm. I do remember Dave asking me, "Are you sure?"

"Yes, definitely sure! I was ready," I told him. The miracle of God’s timing filled me with such gratefulness, confidence, and excitement. Had Dave asked me any sooner, I wouldn’t have been ready. I didn’t want to go, "Hmmm…let’s think a minute…" while doing some quick pro and con mental check-lists, only then to say "Yes." That wasn’t going to be good enough for me; I wanted to confidently know my answer without second thought or hesitation. And I did! God had prepared my heart from Sunday through Tuesday to say "Yes." Over those days I had an increased desire to be with him, to build a family with him, to serve God with him, as well as an increased respect, confidence in and appreciation for the quality of his character. A couple times in my journal entries I actually wrote that I was ready to say "Yes" to Dave. How could I go wrong?

The waitress returned asking, "So what did she say?" Dave said, "She said ‘Yes’," as she glanced down to admire my ring. We ordered a decadent tri-layer fudge cake warmed to the melt-in-your-mouth stage with Sebastian Joe’s vanilla ice cream and drizzled hot fudge. Our waitress delivered the desert to us with a heart shaped candle.

Gradually through the rest of our night the enormity of what had just transferred between us hit me, "WOW! He is asking me to spend the rest of my LIFE with him in intimate companionship! Wow!" Words can’t express it; it’s a deep gut feeling and knowing that in that one moment impresses you with what that will mean for all those years ahead. It was a feeling of a locking together of the wheels of destiny, God’s best plan. That’s why I knew it was right. I don’t think I could’ve said no, so strong was this welling up within me that this IS right!

Praise God! You answered all my prayers
for a lifelong companion and confirmation.
Praise You O Lord! My Jehovah Jirah!
You never fail to provide!
You open your hand and satisfy the desires
Of every living thing!
Praise You Jesus!
Oh, how my hope is renewed!
Be strong, take heart,
And wait, wait for the Lord.
His ways are beyond compare.

Trying to be cute...

His ways are perfect.
O, trust in the Lord
All peoples.
He will never fail
To come and meet with those
Whose hearts are turned towards Him.
"My heart rejoices
in your goodness.
In your presence,
There is fullness of joy!
Every morning, mercy meets me;
Every evening, your compassion remains.
My heart rejoices!
My heart rejoices Oh God!
You are my joy and peace.
My heart rejoices Oh God!
Your love has set me free!"

Dave’s Journal 1/6/2000

Lord God, you are almighty! You are all giving! You are awesome! Thank you Lord for Karin—she said "YES!" She called me her "beloved." "My beloved—dear to the heart." I John 4:7. Lord, thank you! Your hand is in this marriage Lord! Continue to guide us with the timing! Guide us in it all, Lord. Help me to turn it over to you, Lord! Lord, first we have to set the date. When shall it be? Where shall it be? Who shall be in it? Who’s the pastor? Where will the reception be? The honeymoon, Lord? So much! You know all that needs to be done! Guide us, oh Lord. Oh, and whom to invite?

I—we—want this wedding to glorify you, to honor you, to give praise to your name! Lord, help me not to panic but to work diligently with her on it…Lord God, thank you again for Karin—for my life. At last I have someone whom I’ve waited for, for so long. She is the right one Lord; all the others would’ve been a settlement. Karin was designed for me and me for her! Thank you Lord for giving me the patience!