Click here to read part I
So I moved to Big Spring, Texas. What a change. Did I mention there are no Starbucks in Big Spring. The closest Starbucks is 40 miles away in Midland. I had lived in downtown Austin and then Downtown Mobile…walking distance to Starbucks. What a difference.
My dad was living in Big Spring at the time too. He was working for the body shop Jenny and John own. My dad, he isn’t one for idleness. When we were growing up, he always had two jobs. That may have been more out of necessity than wanting to have two jobs but he found that he likes to keep busy. The pastor house had burned down and through a series of events that would be a blog all their own, the men in the church were renovating their home…and they were on a deadline as the pastors had a baby on the way. My dad was spending many evenings and weekends painting and doing finish work. One Saturday (probably several Saturdays) they called a “Workday” for the men. Dennis went over to help out and found himself pushing a broom. Unfortunately, no one has ever trained him in the area of home improvement. My dad asked him to help with some spackling on the crown molding and baseboards. He and Dennis started talking and before long my dad told Dennis, I have a daughter you should meet. I am not all sure my dad thought that Dennis was the one for me so much as he felt like he couldn’t leave this world without seeing me married off…it was a huge concern for him. Dad may have mentioned Dennis to me….but again, I was soo done that. Dad told Dennis, “My daughter is ministry minded too”. (I ended up doing the spackling on that job…dad said he needed someone who could do it in such a way that he wouldn’t have to go back and sand it. Apparently all those years of going to work with my dad paid off.)
I knew who Dennis was. He was one of the worship pastors. He often played the keyboard or the base and at least once a month he led worship.
Dennis, however, was not putting two and two together. He saw me at church and thought I was cute but didn’t realize who I was. Shortly after arriving, I joined up with the prayer ministry and led a prayer group on Tuesday evenings. They had announced it and he just thought, “When am I going to meet this girl, Casey?”
In the meantime, my friend Jovena, much to the chagrin of her husband Rob, was matchmaking. And she wasn’t matching me with Dennis! She was encouraging Zenon to ask me out. I think the world of Zenon. He is absolutely a great man of God (single ladies…if interested contact me but keep in mind, I wouldn’t introduce him to just anyone 😀 ). It didn’t feel right to me.
I also signed on to help with the women’s conference. (These women put on a world class conference). So let’s see I was working on several projects and helping raise a 1 year old. Did I mention, Sam started walking when he was 10 months old? He was on the go.
The conference rolled around, JoVena had a friend of hers come out from California. She invited all the single men of the church to help with setup for the conference with one small start to pick her friend up at the airport, oh, and have lunch. Dennis was invited to this little shin-dig. I knew nothing about it.
When the guys finally arrived at the conference venue, I was trying to hang fabric panels from the ceiling. Even standing on a chair, I couldn’t reach the ceiling. Dennis’ friend, Keil was among the guys. Keil is a beast…barely missing 7 feet tall and massive. When I spotted him, I immediately asked for his help and stood back giving directions. Dennis said that was the first time he noticed me and knew who I was. He thought I was cute and loved that I took charge. Keil told him later that I was a great match for Zenon. Dennis said he thought, “I wish everyone would stop trying to fix her up with Zenon”.
As the summer heated up, and it did to about 112. I started volunteering at the cafe where Dennis worked. I would help with cooking and started doing some catering (I ended up being the catering manager which was a great little job for me). I thought he was good looking. A little corny with his jokes. All the girls working at Bean’s World Cafe had crushes on Dennis. Well at least two of them did.
Dennis asked to be my friend on MySpace. Oh my goodness…does anyone remember MySpace anymore?? And he asked for my phone number. I was attending a small group for the college group but there weren’t many college students…mostly singles. Dennis and I ended up leading a small group for singles. We had quiet a few singles for a small town.
The turning point for me… Dennis showed up for prayer on Tuesday night. He started attending on a regular basis. That in and of itself did not impress me. What impressed me was his prayers. He had obviously prayed before. He knew something about it. He pursued prayer with passion. One thing I always knew, I wanted to marry someone who prayed.
Eventually, I was asked to help with the youth group and Dennis was transitioning into being the youth pastor as JoVena and Rob (the current youth pastor) were moving to Memphis.
Dennis made a point of calling me to let me know what the singles were doing or when people were “hanging out”. Often our little ragtag group would go to the park and walk at night. One night, after our small group we had been planning on going but everyone backed out. Dennis said he figured I would back out too. I didn’t. Truthfully, I was happy to be out of the house. The house is nice but my sister and her family needed to have their own time together. I was used to a life of busy singleness….there were times when I worked as a software trainer that I would be away from home for up to six weeks. When I was home, I was out with friends or friends were coming over.
Dennis offered to drive us to the park. His car was a hot mess. It was sad. The AC didn’t work, it was beat up. It was not good. He told me he expected me to not want to ride with him (I sort of didn’t). I told him, “God has something better for you”. He almost cried. He is a tender-hearted guy. He said people always criticized his car and told him it was trash but no one ever told him that. I meant it too.
More to come…I have to go check on the cinnamon rolls I am making for Dennis for Valentines.