Wrapping up “Our Story”

This is the final installment in a rather long series about how Daniel and I met–and became engaged. Click on the “Our Story” tag for context.

Two weeks after Daniel and I were engaged, Daniel’s mother and I road-tripped from Lincoln down to Wichita, where I saw the house that was to become my new home. I cooked my first meal in my future kitchen–and entertained Garcia family friends at the same time.

A month later, in November, my car broke down less than a week before I was to travel to Wichita again. I bought a new (used) car, drove it 300 miles to Wichita, and signed the title over to Daniel. We added me to Daniel’s car insurance, licensed the car in Kansas, and then drove it to Topeka for his mom’s family Thanksgiving. From there, we drove it up to Lincoln for my family Thanksgiving. The Sunday after Thanksgiving, we drove it back to Wichita to drop Daniel back at home–and I drove it back to Columbus again. We named the car “Alejandro” in honor of his new “Mexican” owner (hah). Alejandro gained 1200 miles in that crazy week.

Just a month later, I worked my last day in Columbus, traveled to Lincoln where we celebrated Christmas with both of our families, and we traveled back up to Columbus with a moving truck. We packed all my earthly possessions and made a caravan to Wichita. Daniel in the moving van, me in Alejandro, my dad driving Daniel’s car.

We unloaded all my earthly goods (except some clothing, which went to the home of the couple I would be staying with) in Daniel’s house and then returned my parents to Lincoln.

The next two and a half months were a whirlwind of unpacking, house-readying, wedding preparing, and new-life-starting. And then we were married at last.

At which point the story ends…

and begins.

You can catch the rest in real-time (errr…almost) right here on bekahcubed.

Telling the World (Part 2)

This is the next installment in a rather long series about how Daniel and I met–and have become engaged. Click on the “Our Story” tag for context.

My Bible study friends weren’t the only people who were incredulous that Daniel and I were engaged.

Anna reports showing up (late) to worship practice the morning after our announcement and having the entire worship team asking for the scoop.

“Rebekah is engaged?” our pastor asked. “I didn’t know she was dating anyone.”

(In my defense, his wife knew I was dating someone; as did at least two of his elders. It wasn’t like it was a secret.)

Consensus was that they all needed to meet this guy, check him out.

Anna let them know the good news. He would be visiting that very morning.

After teaching the Sunday School lesson and getting the children into their small groups with their small group leaders, I left a little early and went out to find Daniel. We strolled, hand in hand, through the church building and towards the sanctuary. As we passed the visitor welcome center, my pastor interrupted his conversation “Hey, Rebekah, good to see you today. Engaged, I hear?”

I affirmed that this was true, introduced Daniel quickly and left Pastor Justin to his conversation. But as we walked away, Justin informed Daniel that he (Justin) would be talking to him (Daniel) later.

Later didn’t end up being after the next service as I’d expected.

Instead, Justin mounted the stage to give the morning’s announcements–and opened with “Sometimes, in the course of this life, two people decide that instead of walking separately, they’re going to join their lives together and walk the rest of this life together as a married couple. If you are in the congregation today and have made that decision in the past week, could you please stand up?”


Daniel and I stood to applause.

At which point Justin came off the stage and towards us, microphone in hand.

“Now it doesn’t take a rocket scientist,” he said, “to figure out that Rebekah is one of the most eligible young women in our congregation. We’ll be very sad to see her go.”

Turning now to Daniel, he asked him to introduce himself and tell what he did for a living.

Daniel did so, but didn’t quite give the answer Justin was looking for, so Justin supplied it himself: “So you could almost say you’re a rocket scientist?”

Ermm…not quite, but we’d let him keep his punchline.

His next question for Daniel had us looking back and forth to decide who would answer and how. “How did you propose?” he asked.

Thankfully Daniel, not liking how he’d automatically contradicted me when I started telling the story to my family the day before, had helped us get on the same page as to the story we’d be telling the world.

I gave the short version. “Well, Daniel didn’t so much ‘propose’ as we mutually decided to get married during a conversation this past week.”

Justin wasn’t content with this answer, so he asked Daniel for more detail.

Daniel gave the long version (although still shorter than my long version.)

And, if anyone was in doubt of the veracity of my Facebook status change, they were now convinced. Thanks to a ten minute in-church interview, they now knew that Rebekah Menter was indeed engaged–and knew exactly how it had happened.

Telling the World (Part 1)

This is the next installment in a rather long series about how Daniel and I met–and have become engaged. Click on the “Our Story” tag for context.

Telling the world that we were engaged took time.

We told our parents on Thursday–Daniel told his by e-mail (since his dad was in a foreign country and didn’t have reliable phone service), I told mine over Skype.

Daniel’s dad wrote us back a quick e-mail giving his blessing, which Daniel’s mother quickly replied to with her own.

We met my parents Friday night so Daniel could officially ask my dad’s blessing. It was a bit awkward since our decision was already made. We weren’t asking for permission–we didn’t need permission. (A sentiment, by the way, that my dad has expressed on several occasions.) Instead, we were doing the Fiddler on the Roof thing (with none of the undertones of defiance). “We’re not asking for your permission, we’re asking for your blessing”.

Blessing given, we were ready to tell the rest of our families.

Saturday morning, we met Daniel’s sisters and mother for breakfast–my first time meeting my future mother-in-law and the older of my sisters-in-law. Then we went shopping for a ring.

We’d been talking a bit about our story, about how Daniel didn’t propose, about how we just decided (mutually) to get married instead of having a schmancy and elaborate proposal. On our way back from ring shopping, Daniel got down on one ring, in jest, and asked “Rebekah, will you marry me?” I answered with something cheeky, I’m sure, because I remember him telling me that I was forgetting the script. I was supposed to say “Yes, I’ll marry you.” Duly chastised, I said the prescribed words.

Which is why, when we told my siblings at our family lunch that day and when they asked how Daniel had proposed, I replied “He got down on one knee, asked me to marry him, and I said yes.”

Daniel immediately contradicted me, always honest and not wanting to give the wrong impression. The story came out, how he hadn’t proposed, how we’d just decided–on Tuesday.

“You mean you were engaged on Wednesday?” Anna asked. “You made me a liar!”

Yes, I did. I told her. I was sorry, but I didn’t see any way around it. (Thankfully, she forgave me :-) )

We had Grace take some photos of us that we could call engagement photos–which we posted to Facebook along with our changed relationship status later that afternoon.

Later, I’d realize that my order of telling was out of order. In all the secrecy of the first few days, I’d skipped a vital group who ought to have heard from me personally.

The Bible study gals I hadn’t told that first night because I hadn’t told my parents yet?

Ruth learned when a friend she was going to a movie with saw it on Facebook.

Incredulous, she texted Beth, almost certain it was a joke.

Beth’s response was “No… She wouldn’t have gotten engaged without telling me.”

Except I did.


Thankfully, they also forgave.

In which I make my sister a liar

This is the next installment in a rather long series about how Daniel and I met–and have become engaged. Click on the “Our Story” tag for context.

It being a Wednesday evening, my parents were busy with church. Which meant I couldn’t really tell them about my engagement any earlier than Thursday night. Which meant I couldn’t really tell anyone about my engagement until after Thursday night.

It wouldn’t be fair to have anyone else know before my parents.

As I was driving back to Columbus from Kansas City, I received a text from my friend Ruth. “Will you be at Bible Study tonight? I have something to tell you.”

I wasn’t sure what time I’d be getting back in to town, but I promised I would come as soon as I got there.

It turned out that I rolled into Columbus almost exactly at 8, when Bible Study began. I drove right to Kathy’s house, interested in hearing what Ruth would have to say.

Interestingly, Ruth was not yet there–but the rest of the girls were eager to hear my story.

One of the girls was new to our study and hadn’t even known I was dating anyone. One of the girls had only heard up to the point where Daniel and I were about to meet in person for the first time. And then there were plenty who knew the story up until my trip to Kansas City/Philadelphia, but who were nevertheless curious to hear what had gone down during my trip.

They insisted I start at the beginning, catching up those who needed to be caught up, while the girls who were further along went across the street to retrieve I-don’t-remember-what from our friend Jon’s house.

Eventually, the rest of the girls returned–and Ruth showed up.

As I told my story, several of the girls punctuated every paragraph with a question.

“So, when are you going to get engaged?”

I ignored their questions and kept blazing on with my story–sans the engagement part, of course.

My sister was less willing to ignore the engagement question and finally interjected.

“She isn’t engaged. She can’t get engaged yet. Daniel hasn’t even met our family!”

I ignored her comment and kept going with my story.

Ruth interjected her own question every couple of paragraphs.

“So, when are you moving to Wichita?”

By the time she got to her own announcement, I felt sure I knew what she would say–and I was right.

Ruth’s company had decided to relocate her. They wanted her to move to their main offices–in Wichita, Kansas.

I responded to her announcement awkwardly, unsure of how to respond exactly. She was moving, but she wouldn’t be moving away from me. She was moving the same place I’d be moving–but I couldn’t let anyone know that I’d be moving there because I couldn’t let anyone know that I was engaged yet.

And so I lied silently–and made my sister a liar as well.

Did I just… !?!

This is the next installment in a rather long series about how Daniel and I met–and have become engaged. Click on the “Our Story” tag for context.

Having turned in way too late the night before, I overslept Wednesday morning, waking up less than an hour before my flight out of Philadelphia was scheduled to leave.

I hastily threw my belongings into my bags, hoping against all hope that the airlines wouldn’t complain that I was now carrying THREE carry-ons. Then I rushed downstairs to the hotel lobby, hoping against all hope that I’d have a way to make it to the airport, since I’d already missed the scheduled shuttle.

Hoping against all hope, my hopes were met.

The shuttle had just returned and the driver coming up the walk turned right around to take me back. I whipped through security with no difficulties (except the obligatory pat-down–of course!) and got onto the plane with my three carry-ons.

At last, I was buckled in and had a chance to process.

I was getting married.

We’d decided so the night before.

It was for real.


I rehashed the events of the night in my mind and ended with a terrible thought.

Oh my goodness! Did I just…

I’d told Daniel that it was better to marry than to burn.

Did I just…

I don’t think I did… I think I… But maybe I did…

I don’t know.

Did I just coerce Daniel into marrying me?

The flight was en route, I’d be in the air or on tight connections for the next several hours. I couldn’t answer the burning question.

I was excited, thrilled to be marrying Daniel–I was terrified that I was rushing him, coercing him into doing something against his will.

I had no way of contacting him, of reassuring myself. I had no opportunity to call. I couldn’t ask my questions in between flights via text. How can one ask the questions that were racing through my mind? Surely they couldn’t fit in 160 characters.

My text was simple. “Can we talk sometime before you have class tonight?”

He agreed. He would call me between work and class, when I should be on the road heading back to Columbus from Kansas City.

I continued my travels, brooding into my notebook, alternately dreaming of marrying him and hyperventilating that he might have changed his mind–might not have actually had that in mind until I’d pushed him.

His sister-in-law met me at the airport. I chatted with his nephew and nieces, gave them the stickers I’d picked up for them at the Expo. E loaned me his water bottle for my drive home–I’d be able to return it at the family Thanksgiving only a couple of months later. My belly continued to churn.

Did I just… !?!

At last, Daniel called. He didn’t have much time between work and class. Furthermore, he still had some homework to work on, what with being up so late with me the night before.

I poured out my concerns. Had I forced his hand? Had I rushed him? Did he really want to marry me?

He assured me I had not.

I had not.

He really wanted to marry me.

We were getting married in just 5 more months.

Erratum: We Should Get Married

In the installment of “Our Story” entitled We Should Get Married“, the Author miswrote several pertinent details due to a faulty memory.

Her husband was so kind as to have corrected her remembrance of the story, leading her to publish the following retraction:

I wrote of Daniel suggesting that we should stop talking about getting married–and then of myself going on a tangent to tell Daniel how I’d asked God if I would marry him. After hearing what God had told me (“I know, and when I want you to know, I’ll tell Daniel”), Daniel responded, “I think I do know.”

Here, I went wrong in my storytelling.

Daniel’s response was followed by his telling me that he should/would pray about it himself a little more.

It was the next evening, a Tuesday night, when the discussion turned to possible days we could get married before the next summer–and when we ultimately decided we would get married.

The author is sorry for having misrepresented the story of her engagement and hopes that no one has been harmed by her carelessness with the historic record.


We could get married…

This is the next installment in a rather long series about how Daniel and I met–and have become engaged. Click on the “Our Story” tag for context.

“Maybe we should stop talking about getting married,” he said.

He explained that he thought maybe talking about, praying about getting married was making it harder.

I must have misunderstood exactly what he was getting at, presuming that he meant talking about getting married was making it harder for us to discern the will of God. I went off on a tangent.

“What do you think when people tell you that God has told them something?” I asked.

Daniel gave his thoughts, only partially understanding what I was trying to ask (but, then again, it’s not like my meaning was clear or obviously related to the topic at hand.)

I described how I’d asked God if I would marry Daniel–and how God’s response had been, “I know; and when I want you to know, I’ll tell Daniel.”

Daniel listened patiently and responded: “I think I do know.”

He went on to explain his real concern, his present concern. The earliest he could conceive of us getting married was next summer. Was talking about marriage all the time making it harder to wait for the day when getting married could be a reality?

My answer was convoluted. My mind was in a whirl. I’m not sure how I got there, but at one point I mentioned that it was better to marry than to burn. But, at last, Daniel interrupted my ramblings with a more pointed question.

Could I think of any time that we could get married earlier?

I ticked off the options in my head–and said them out loud.

It was October. Christmas break was too soon–there’s no way we could plan a wedding that quickly. And then, well…What time is there between Christmas break and summer?

“When’s your Spring Break?” I asked.

Daniel looked it up, let me know. We discussed if it would be possible to get married the third weekend in March.

Somewhere amidst the conversation, we went from “We could get married over Spring Break” to “We’re getting married over Spring Break.”

We talked way too late into the night, and the conversation ended with an assignment for me. I was to look at rings online, send Daniel some pictures of the sort I liked so he could get ideas.

What was already a late night of conversation turned into an even later night for me as I explored ring pictures online, ecstatic that I was actually going to marry my beloved–SOON!

Maybe we should stop

This is the next installment in a rather long series about how Daniel and I met–and have become engaged. Click on the “Our Story” tag for context.

Not long after we’d officially decided we were dating, we started praying together during our daily conversations.

After we’d already begun, one of Daniel’s friends had cautioned against the intimacy praying together can create.

My mentor was thrilled to hear of Daniel’s leadership in prayer, and warned of how spiritual intimacy was, well, intimate.

We certainly found it to be intimate. We were opening our souls to God together, lifting up our desires, our requests, our hurts, and our praise. This was deep intimacy.

We weren’t about to stop.

Our prayers took different directions from day to day. Sometimes we prayed for the circumstances of our lives. Sometimes we prayed for the people in our lives. Sometimes we prayed for one another. Sometimes we each prayed for ourselves. Frequently, we thanked God for the gift of His Son. Almost as frequently, we thanked God for the gift of each other.

But one refrain found its way into almost every prayer.

“Lord, we want to be married someday–but if that’s not Your will, we don’t want it.”

“Lord, I love this man, and I want to spend the rest of my life with him–but if that’s not what You want, show us.”

“Lord, You know I love Rebekah and want to marry her–but I want Your will to be done.”

“Lord, if I don’t marry Daniel, I’ll be very, very sad–but I’d rather obey You than have him.”

It was our heart’s cry, our desire laid bare before the Lord. Both of us were prone to make marriage an idol, to worship our desire for a spouse above God. Both of us recognized the danger of idolizing one another.

We wanted each other–and we told God that–but we wanted God more.

Our desire was to be married–but we wanted above anything to honor God.

And so we prayed day after day.

I talked with Cathy, week after week, confessing how much I thought I was in love with Daniel, how much I wanted to be his wife, how he wanted me for his wife. I shared how I struggled to know whether this desire was holy or idolatrous. I wanted God more. As painful as it would be to not marry Daniel, that’s what I wanted if that’s what God wanted. Cathy and I prayed together, week after week.

And Daniel and I continued to pray during our daily conversations.

“Lord, we want to be married–but if you don’t want that, neither do we.”

We continued to pray it day after day until one day, when Daniel said the words that changed the tenor of our conversations.

I was wearing my red satiny pajamas laying across the white comforter of my hotel bed, chin propped on a pillow, Nexus tablet propped on a second pillow in front of me. The light above my head cast a ghastly pallor across my face, such that I winced whenever I saw the tiny box that was me in the corner of the screen. It wasn’t one of my best days.

Then Daniel said it: “Maybe we should stop talking about getting married.”

Parting Gifts

This is the next installment in a rather long series about how Daniel and I met–and have become engaged. Click on the “Our Story” tag for context.

We spent the next morning with Dave and Katie and their kids.

Well, mostly with their kids.

Daniel’s nephew took Daniel’s lap and his oldest niece (who had gotten over her shyness of me) took mine. E read to Daniel from his books–and P, not to be outdone, went to find some books of her own. P and I “read” her counting books a half a dozen times, counting up from one to twelve and back down again.

E moved on to a movie, his one allowed that week–but P still wanted to play. This time, she wanted both Uncle Daniel and his friend Rebekah to play with her. She handed us each a number of magnets and instructed us to place the magnets, one at a time on a magnetic board.

Daniel and I shared bemused glances as P directed the game of her own making.

“Now your turn.”

“Now your turn.”

“Now it’s my turn.”

“No, put that one on.”

“Now you put that one on.”

Eventually, P tired of her play and moved on to other things–taking pictures with her Mom’s cell phone. She got plenty of shots of the room at large, but eventually her attention turned to the two still sitting on the couch.

Daniel and I

At length, we left for lunch. Daniel would take me from there to the airport.

As I transferred my luggage from my car to Daniel’s and rearranged this item and that inside my bags, Daniel asked if I had room for this.

This was his brand new tablet-a Galaxy Nexus 7.

“Because I want to Skype with you while you’re away,” he explained. “You can give it back to me next week when I come up to Columbus.”

I tucked it into my purse, a little embarrassed at the gesture (and a little unsure of what flying with not one, not two, not three but FOUR electronic devices would be like–I had both my cell phone, my Kindle, and my work laptop with me, in addition to the tablet.)

We went to lunch, and then to the airport. Daniel carried my luggage and waved goodbye.

And then I was off to Philadelphia.

A convenient(?) turn of events

This is the next installment in a rather long series about how Daniel and I met–and have become engaged. Click on the “Our Story” tag for context.

My professional conference was in Philadelphia the second week in October–and I knew I needed to attend in order to get those all-important CEUs.

Unfortunately, I’d been so busy, I waited until the last minute (maybe a month before?) to register and get my plane tickets. Once I got to searching for my tickets, I realized that I was in trouble.

The plane tickets out of Lincoln and/or Omaha were exorbitant.

I began to despair. How much was I willing to spend for this conference?

Before I plunked down my cash, I figured I’d check into the flights out of Kansas City–the nearest major-ish airport.

Good news. I could get tickets to Philadelphia several hundred dollars cheaper coming from Kansas City.

The thought crossed my mind that maybe I could see if Daniel would be willing to meet me in Kansas City before I left–but I wasn’t really sure if it would work. If we did that, I’d have to go early, stay the night at a hotel, and burn my cost savings.

I mentioned the idea to my sister, who had a solution right off. “Just call Katie and see if you can stay the night with them.” I was reticent. Yes, I’d known Daniel’s sister-in-law in high school–but we hadn’t really kept up since then–and it seemed wrong somehow, like I would be using her.

I recounted this to Daniel in one of our evening conversations–and ended up with an unexpected solution. “Well, then, I’ll just ask my brother if you can stay with them.”

The plans were made.

I would travel to KC, spend the day with Daniel, stay overnight with Daniel’s brother and his family, and fly out the next day.

And that’s what we did.

After introducing me to Daniel’s nephew and nieces (one of whom was more than a little shy about me at first), we took off for an afternoon and evening in KC. Daniel took me to the World War I museum. This time, it was my opportunity to be interested because of the company rather than the content, per se (not that there wasn’t some interesting stuff at the museum, because there definitely was.)

Up until the last minute, we still wondered if we might be able to make dinner for Daniel’s brother and his family–but Katie and the kids decided to go to a birthday party they’d been invited to but weren’t really sure about, so Daniel and I ended up going out.

That evening, we sat and talked with Dave and Katie. Katie and I caught up a bit; we all talked a little about life, mostly shooting the breeze. Katie shooed the boys upstairs to give me the dirt on the Garcia family (chief among it? that people will think you’re Hispanic).

Daniel had to be at his uncle’s by ten or risk not getting a bed, so we said an early-ish goodnight and Daniel left.