Shannon here: Cindy Kay Stewart shares how she met her husband, plus a chance to win a copy of her debut WWII Historical Romance, Abounding Hope. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for an e-book copy (US only). Deadline Nov 18th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Cindy:
The story of how Jeff and I met:
In the late 70’s and early 80’s, Jeff and I were both dorm students at Bob Jones University, a conservative Christian college in South Carolina. Dating was strongly encouraged; however, dorm students had to follow strict guidelines. We weren’t allowed to date off campus unless accompanied by an approved chaperone, but there were plenty of opportunities to date on campus. Because of this safety net, it was quite common to go on blind dates.
We had a very unique system of dating at Bob Jones. We weren’t allowed to call each other—it would tie up the phone lines in the dorms, and we didn’t have cell phones in those days. Instead, when a young man wanted to ask a girl out, he looked up her dorm and room number in the dorm directory and wrote a note to her. Then he deposited the envelope in a special box. Male students took turns running the boxes of notes across campus to the girls’ dorms. Rain or snow, the guys never failed to deliver the notes around nine o’clock each night. Female students volunteered to sort the notes and slide them under the doors of the addressees.
One night, I came home late from a Bible study I’d held at a secular university two hours away. Lights were out in my dorm, and everyone was asleep. Before climbing into my bunk, I felt around on my bed and sure enough, I’d received a note, and my roommate had placed it where I wouldn’t miss it. I took it into the hall where there was a little bit of light and opened the envelope. Who was Jeff Stewart? I’d never met him. He invited me to lunch for one day the following week and mentioned that he was good friends with Danny. I assumed Danny had set up the date, so I cornered him two days later.
“Who’s the guy who asked me out?”
Danny was perplexed for a moment, and then said, “Oh, Jeff Stewart. He’s a nice guy. I’ll introduce him to you some time.” Danny had not set up the date, but he was a mutual friend and knew that Jeff was interested in me.
“Too late,” I said. I’d already written back and accepted the date. Proper dating etiquette demanded a prompt response, so, for better or worse, I would be going to lunch with Jeff the next week. Did I mention there were more guys who picked up the note boxes from the girls’ dorms and ran them across campus to the boys’ dorms each night?
Jeff wrote back the next night with instructions to meet him at the second planter in front of the dining common, right after chapel. As it turned out, I beat him to the planter and waited. I had studied his picture from my yearbook and hoped I would recognize him. In the meantime, the guy who was assigned to sit next to me in chapel (we had assigned seats and attendance was taken) showed up at the same planter and stood beside me. When Jeff walked up and said, “You must be Cindy,” and I said, “You must be Jeff,” my chapel buddy laughed and introduced us. He knew us both. Jeff and I later learned we had many mutual friends and acquaintances, although we’d never met each other.
Jeff impressed me by pronouncing my maiden name “Kevorkian” perfectly, without any help from me. That was a first. He’d obviously practiced. Then he impressed me more by asking a lot of questions during lunch. Usually, I was the one asking all the questions. My dates were quite often the shy type. I think they asked me out because they knew I’d keep the conversation going. Jeff and I had a lovely time, and he walked me back to my dorm along the “snail trail,” named for the slow rate at which dating couples walked along the sidewalk in front of the girls’ dorms.
Jeff admitted later that he had observed me on campus for close to two years before gathering the nerve to ask me out. I had red hair, and he was partial to it. 😊
Earlier, my mother had asked me to make a list of characteristics/qualities I wanted in a husband. I added to my list over the years, and by the time Jeff came along, I had listed close to thirty items. After three dates with Jeff, I pulled out my list and checked off all but one criterion. I later realized that the one missing characteristic would have made us incompatible.
Jeff and I enjoyed talking about anything and everything together and discovered many mutual interests. The warm, fuzzy feelings crept up on us, and it didn’t take long to fall in love. We married a little over a year later, and that was forty-two years ago! My motto was “God gives the best to those who leave the choices to Him.”
Question for Readers: How long did it take you to know that your husband was the one? If you’re not married, what qualities would you require in a potential mate?
About Cindy: Cindy Kay Stewart, a retired high school social studies teacher and current church pianist, writes stories of hope, steeped in love, and anchored in faith. Her manuscripts have won the Touched by Love Award, the First Impressions contest, and the Sandra Robbins Inspirational Writing Award. They’ve also finaled in the Maggie Award of Excellence and the Cascade Awards, and semi-finaled in the Genesis contest. Cindy is passionate about revealing God’s handiwork in history. She resides in North Georgia with her college sweetheart and husband of forty-two years. Her daughter, son-in-law, and four adorable grandchildren live nearby. Cindy’s currently writing the Circle of Hope series set in WWII Europe. Learn more & connect:
About the book – Abounding Hope:
WINNER OF THE TOUCHED BY LOVE AWARD (Faith, Hope, & Love Christian Writers)
Poland’s looming defeat forces an American teacher to escape with children wanted by the Nazis.
It’s late August, 1939, and the world is on the brink of war. The Nazis are threatening Poland, but American teacher Irena Simmons refuses to flee to safety. She’s dedicated her life to serving in her church and school, and she’s watching over the little German boys she whisked to safety the year before. When her former classmate, Jonathan, surprises her in Lvov and insists she leave with him before the war starts, Irena balks. Nothing will interfere with her work—especially a man making demands.
American shipping magnate Jonathan Huntwell had a crush on Irena in school. When their former classmates select him to travel to Poland and escort her out before it’s too late, he doesn’t expect the inner turmoil she ignites in him. Although honor-bound to aid any friend in trouble, Jonathan acknowledges that Irena is more than an obligation to him. However, he must keep his feelings hidden, or he’ll jeopardize their friendship.
Irena soon discovers that the Gestapo agent she successfully evaded in Germany has found her in Poland, and he’s after her young charges. When the Germans invade, Jonathan is in Denmark on business, too far away to help. As the rising danger threatens everything Irena holds dear, she must find a way to protect those she loves.
Based on true events and backed by extensive research, Abounding Hope is sure to delight fans of WWII adventure cloaked in sweet romance. Come to the place where the war began and discover hope in the darkest places.
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Get your copy/copies now! Abounding Hope
Come back Nov 14th for Kristen Parnell!