31 January 2009

Our Home Sweet Home

Kevin is the most awesome provider for me. Look at this cute little house he purchased for our new home sweet home! Not only is it cute with its small size, which will make it easy for me to keep clean and tidy , but it is also excellent for our future goal to travel around the USA for mission deputation.

Not to mention, take a look a Kevin's awesome truck!! Don't you just love it?!! It has some heavy power, as you can tell!! I told my sisters years ago that I was going to marry a guy with a big truck. Well, indeed it is going to happen!

"...the hand of the diligent maketh rich" (Proverbs 10:4).

30 January 2009

A Hike to the Mountains

Tennessee had a colder spell a couple weeks ago and, with it, snow! Kevin had the brilliant idea to go hiking in the mountains. We enjoyed our time together.... We even had a couple snow ball fights!

Joleen was our chaperone for the day! As you can see, the snow was really deep. :)


It was a Monday. The sun was shining. The sky was blue. It was a gorgeous day. Kevin had several interviews for his particular job that Monday morning; therefore, I knew I would not see him until evening.

The day proceeded with nothing extraordinary. You see, I had already come to my own conclusion that Kevin would not propose for a few more weeks. The previous Thursday, Kevin prepared a surprise picnic at a local park. I figured he would do several of these surprise outings so as to throw me off. Sure enough…I was thrown for a couple loops.

3:00pm came around – My three youngest siblings and I decided to make a little turkey piñata for our soon arriving Thanksgiving celebration. We all got into the décor of this little creature. As we were applying the papier-mâché, I received a phone call from Kevin! As always, I am thrilled to receive any phone calls from him. I became rather disappointed because Kevin mentioned the bosses wanted to do a couple more interviews and it would take a few more hours. I sighed, but said I looked forward to seeing him in time for supper. I continued on with the piñata project with my little sister and two little brothers. Little did I realize that Kevin’s phone conversation was a cue for Kayleen to take me for a walk at our near by National Park, called Fort Loudon.

She came in the room and said, “Let us go for a walk, Darleen.”

“Sure,” was my reply. “But let me help Colleen, Benjamin, and Bryce finish this turkey piñata.”Then mom came and suggested I should go for a walk with Kayleen. I said, “Okay, just a few more minutes and we’ll have this done. We still have plenty of light to go walking.”

I thought it was rather strange that Mom and Kayleen stopped doing their projects and found the turkey piñata very intriguing. I even said, “Hey, we don’t need help finishing this. We can do it.” Little did I realize they were trying to speed up the process because Kevin was waiting for me. With the newfound enthusiasm from Mom and Kay, we finally completed our Thanksgiving Turkey piñata! Hooray! I was now ready to go for a stroll with Kayleen. However, I then asked Kayleen, “Why do we need the camera?”

“Oh, remember, we need to take those pictures our friend’s requested?” was Kayleen’s reply.

“Oh, yes, I remember.” I continued by questioning whether we could snap the photos after our walk.

“No, I want to take it along just in case I find a beautiful tree to take a picture of,” she said.

I was satisfied with the answer and did not suspect a thing, surprisingly. If anyone knows me, I am very aware of any new and exciting happenings coming on the horizon.

As we were driving the 7-miles to the Park, I noticed the gorgeous weather and commented how lovely it was and how perfect it would be for a wedding. As soon as we parked in the park entrance, I surveyed the area. I remember mentally noticing that Kevin’s car wasn’t there. This was the only parking lot within a 2-mile radius of the area, so I knew nothing was up. (Later I learned Kevin literally walked approximately two miles so he could hide his van somewhere I would not see it.)

Kay and I continued our walk up a long windy road, ending at a secluded lakefront. At the last part of our stroll, I saw a familiar figure standing off in the distance. It looked so much like Kevin, but it couldn’t be, I thought to myself. “Who is that?” I asked Kay. “That’s not Kevin, is it?” Then the figure turned around. Sure enough, it was Kevin with a solemn look to his face.

“What are you doing here?” I questioned.

Kevin simply said, “Just wait and see.” He then grabbed me by the hand and took me to the shoreline.

Sarcastically I said, “A few more hours on those interviews, eh?”

“Patience” Kevin replied.

There I walked down the shoreline with my hand griped by Kevin’s. I saw a bundle of red and orange gerbera daisies resting on a stack of Kevin’s journals on an embankment near the lake. Kevin took me over near the flowers and books and told me to take a look in the first page of one of the journals. I found a letter tucked inside. I opened the envelope, took out the handwritten letter and started reading. It took me forever to read the one side of the letter… His words touched my heart. I looked up at Kevin, and then he told me to look in the envelope again. I looked and saw a wonderful gift inside. Kevin took it out for me, as I was motionless. He dropped to one knee and asked whether I would be his little darling forever. Oh, with joy overflowing the only reply I could give was, “Of course”! Truly, Kevin made me the happiest girl ever when he asked me to be his wife.

I am so blessed by God to have Kevin as my guy and love for always.

Darleen's Story

- I met him, I loved him, I became his!

Prior to life with Kevin, I had many questions about determining God’s will regarding a life partner. Since I was young, I had purposed to allow the guidance of my parents to help me evaluate and determine God’s best for me in choosing a husband. I also desired to keep my heart emotionally free from entanglements with other young men. I wanted my first love to be the man I married. I wanted my first kiss to go to my husband. I wanted not just a good man, but God’s best man.

Earlier in 2007, the Lord, through a broken relationship, taught me some very previous and important lessons in trusting God to provide His best for me. He taught me that my life and happiness is not based upon marriage or the fulfillment of dreams, but God Himself.

These moments of questioning whether God would bring about His best for my life were bitter sweet. Yet, the promise God had given to me years earlier became even more real during the uncertainty of what God had in store for me in the future. Psalm 37:5 says, “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass”. I felt God was directing me to missions and to marry a godly man and raising a godly family with him, but only God could bring this vision and desire of mine to pass. My job was to only trust in Him to bring about His best in my life.

As many godly leaders have said, the second most important decision in your life is your decision about your life partner. I then began to seek Scripture more fervently and listen more intently to the counsel of godly leaders for the essential qualities that should characterize any man desirous of pursuing me. With the help of others, I compiled a list of these qualities: (see http://www.tdharmon.com/)

  1. He is not only saved, but he truly loves the Lord and is committed to Him and His word. Mark 12:30

  2. He is morally pure and lives a life of high moral standards. He is a man of character. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20

  3. He lives in harmony with authorities. (i.e. parents, church, government) Eph. 6:1,2; 1 Peter 2:13-19

  4. He accepts Himself – best evidenced by a humble and contrite heart. He is temperate and not given to anger. Matt. 11:29; Prov. 22:24; 1 Cor. 9:25

  5. He loves his parents, especially his mother. If His parents are divorced, or he has been wronged deeply, does he forgive and honor them? Eph. 6:3

  6. He has purpose in life that includes a high priority on spiritual leadership. He loves children. Eph. 5:24-28; Eph. 6:4

  7. He is honest and self-denying. He cares deeply about the feelings of those he is responsible for. Luke 9:23

Not to mention, I began looking at qualities I needed to help that man God would bring into my life, if I were to marry someday. (See http://www.tdharmon.com/) Also, I compiled these questions to ask myself when and if God allowed a suitor to pursue me in the future!

  • Do I fully respect this man the way a wife is called to respect her husband?

  • Can I eagerly submit to him as the church submits to Christ?

  • Do I have faith to follow this man no matter where he may lead?

  • Can I love this man with a tender, affectionate love?(1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:22, 33; Col. 3:8; Titus 2:4-5)

I met Kevin Weston for the very first time at a Romanian church in Georgia. It was a Friday evening, April 4th. It had been a long day, and my siblings and another family from our church had traveled from Knoxville, TN to assist in a Children’s Institute (CI) at Gwinnett Church. Kevin was the group leader for the CI. He flew from California with a group from his church. The Children’s Institute set the stage for the start of a special relationship, but I never imagined it at the time. I never noticed any fireworks or anything really special about our encounter. I do recall greeting Kevin with a handshake and noticing his firm, but gentle, grip. I also remember how short I was compared to him.

My impression of Kevin after the two weeks of working under his leadership was excellent. I saw that he had a real passion for the things of the Lord and for serving Christ. I also saw that he had a clear direction in life, which included missions. We even had spoken on several occasions of our goals and thoughts of mission work. I never thought much about a deeper relationship with him, though. He was from California and there was no real opportunity to get to know him better. Also, I always though until a young man has come and specifically expressed his interest in me, I should view him only as a brother, or possibly as another woman's husband.

Life went on after the Children’s Institute. I had heard that Kevin did have an interest in me by this time, but was still uncertain to God’s leading. In mid-May, Kevin’s Dad called my father to see if my parents were open for a possible relationship. Later that week, Kevin called requesting to seek me for a courtship. He was ready to go forward into a deeper relationship. My parents were impressed with Kevin from the first time they met him. They saw his depth of character. At the time of his call, they inquired more of his life purpose, mission, love for God, etc. After their meeting, they were happy to give him permission to pursue a relationship with me.

In my heart, I knew Kevin was an exceptional guy, and I would be happy to get to know him. I was a tough nut, though, making sure to not let on that I had an interest in getting to know him better. I figured if Kevin was interested and God directed him towards me, he would come out and visit without any encouragement from me. I also wanted a thorough inspection done of Kevin. First an inspection from my parents, then from a retired Pastor who had counseled me over the years. Kevin was more than willing to travel 11-hours to Arkansas to meet with him for a few days. I was shocked and totally impressed!


I remember very vividly the day Kevin arrived at Tyson McGee airport. I was excited, to say the least. I was nervous also. I was sitting in the corridor of the terminal gate, with all my siblings around. The plane had landed. Kevin was to walk down the passageway any minute. Each second was prolonging in my mind. To break the nervousness I was feeling, I told my siblings, “Kevin must have the private room in the back of the airplane.” However, my inner thoughts returned: “How should I respond to him? Should I smile?” These thoughts were soon interrupted when I saw Kevin’s tall statue appear through the terminal gate.

“Could Kevin be God’s best for me?” would have been one of my mental thoughts. I had observed Kevin, talked to his sisters, his mother and father. I talked to my friends who knew him. I talked to him numerous times also. I watched Kevin a lot. I asked him a lot of questions. I was hopeful of seeing Kevin here in Tennessee, coming to win my heart. At that moment, I did not realize the tremendous love I would soon feel for Kevin – this tall, dashing guy. However, one thing I did experience was a deep seated peace within my heart. I wanted above all things to do the Lord’s will in these matters of the heart. My heart felt at peace, my heart felt as if I had known Kevin Weston all along.

My heart slowly came to care for Kevin during his visit. I really liked him! I saw his character. I saw his love for God, and children. I saw his zeal to walk in God’s ways regardless of the cost. I saw how he honored authorities. As I watched him carefully, I saw that he was authentic and real. He truly had a vibrant walk with God – not a two-faced walk. He truly loved Christ and all He had done for him. Kevin had life purpose to which I could follow, and lived a life of high moral standards. I realized by this time that Kevin was – um, wow; how do I put it in words – wonderful!

THE DAY COURTSHIP began with Kevin:
June 24th was yet another momentous day for me. Kevin had already asked my parent’s permission to court me in May, yet still hadn’t asked me officially because I conveyed wanting more time to see him in person. I also wanted him to speak with my Pastor/counselor from Arkansas before entering a courtship. It was on this trip to Arkansas that Kevin asked me personally at this time to enter a deeper relationship with him.

On this Wednesday afternoon, it was off to Pinnacle Mountain. Kevin knew how much I enjoyed hiking; therefore, he chose to take me up the difficult side of the mountain. I was very pleased. During the ascent, we did a bit of rock climbing. From the top, we saw the vast view of the Arkansas countryside. The sun was just setting, the wind was blowing. While Kevin sat on a large rock, I grabbed my camera and shot a couple shots of the view. I then set beside him. I realized the seriousness in the mood. Kevin was going to speak... I was excited and nervous at the same time. I knew my answer before he even asked. I knew deep in my heart he was the type of man I wanted to marry and live with the rest of my life.

Seriousness was expressed in Kevin’s tone of voice. He expressed his desire to court me, and Lord willing, marry me someday. I cannot remember all the lovely words he said, but I remember that it touched my heart. At this time, I asked how God had directed him to ask me. I also asked in what ways he could see me being an assistant to him. Both his answers confirmed what God had spoken to me. With enthusiasm, I said it would be my delight and pleasure to court him!

I still remember the sigh of relief Kevin gave, then the most winning smile any person could ever give! That smile, with those blue and radiant eyes, captivated my heart. It was lovely praising God together for the work He had begun and would continue to do.

Our courtship period was not without challenges. Nonetheless, everyone involved stood firm that this indeed was the Lord’s will! We have experienced God’s grace and faithfulness in spite of Satan’s attacks. With testing, we have come to a greater confidence that whatever the future holds, that God has brought our lives together.

Kevin's Story

- I met her, I loved her, I asked her to be mine!

At a very young age, I sensed God calling me to the mission field someday. I remember praying at this young age whether God wanted me to live a life of service alone or with some young lady whom He would choose for me. God impressed upon me that the life He called me to could not be carried out alone, and that even then He was preparing a rib that would join me in the work that He would eventually impress upon both our hearts. Through the years I often wondered what my girl would be like or even, at times, who she was. Little did I realize she would be better than any thing I ever imagined, and that she would be the answer to my many prayers.

The Day I Met Darleen:
I remember the first time I met Darleen Holly Waltman. It wasn’t “love at first sight” but, most definitely, it was “impressed at first sight.” I had talked to her briefly on the phone a few weeks prior to the children’s program in Atlanta, Georgia. I was surprised at how easily we conversed on our first conversation. I thought little else about it until we met. I was out in the foyer preparing the final details for the program when she walked up to me for the first time. We mutually spotted each other. I stepped forward as she came towards me and reached out her hand. The hand I received in mine was small but determined. I immediately sensed a deep inner strength in her. I was instantaneously impressed that night as I watched her jump in to a task that I knew she wouldn’t have chose. She was willing and able to serve others and her God.

Later in the week there were a few days of relaxation before we jumped back into the full swing of the upcoming weekend. During those days our group went to a local lake in Tennessee. There I started a conversation with Mrs. Waltman about missions. We had a good time sharing many of our experiences. I also was able to glean from her wisdom on the matter, since the Waltman family served as missionaries for many years. Towards the end of the conversation, Darleen walked up and joined in for a few minutes. We were talking about raising funds for missions and she surprised me by saying, “why not do it like George Muller?” In other words, “depend solely on God for provision of funds.” This surprised me because I had always prayed for a girl who was willing to do some thing like that. I had met few young ladies who would be willing to do this. I could tell then this was a girl that was willing to step out in faith and serve the Lord no matter what. At this time also, I started becoming aware of Darleen’s love for the Lord and her call to missions. Following our conversation we went for a boat ride out on the lake. I could not help but find myself watching her out of the corner of my eye. Darleen was unlike other girls I knew. She seemed genuinely caught up with the things of the Lord and I could see that she had a deep relationship with Him. I was keenly interested as I watched her look out over the lake while we rode in the boat. I could tell this was a girl that loved God and had a deep relationship with Him, and I was very impressed.

Traveling back to Georgia for the Children’s program, I was able to talk to Darleen more and was further impressed with her commitment to God. I was beginning to wonder if possibly she could be God’s will for my life, but I was far from sure. Mrs. Waltman and I had a conversation about this, in which I mentioned that I was interested in Darleen but would need to pray, and pray I did over the next month. I prayed and fasted. For a while it seemed as though God was not going to give me a clear answer. I even wondered if God was going to answer at all. One Sunday, in late April, I was sitting in church and I suddenly felt impressed by God that Darleen was the one to pursue. I wasn’t sure if God was going to work everything out but it was clear to me that God wanted me to see if she was the one He had designed for me to be my helpmeet.

I prayed about it some more and during that time Darleen and I passed a few casual e-mails, and I think both of us were noticing that there was definitely something here. We both were surprised at how well we matched and to the point that we both wondered if the other was making it up. In late May, I called the Waltmans and asked them if I could court their wonderful daughter. They said yes but I decided to ask Darleen in person when I was out there. However, at this time, I did receive permission to contact her and we started communicating on a regular basis. Over and over again we were surprised to see how God had formed us to be so similar in so many ways. I was impressed with how easily conversation came with her. In fact, we clocked in some rather lengthy calls. The Lord, through a number of circumstances, confirmed that I was on the right track and that He had a plan to bring a very wonderful girl into my life.

My Trip to Tennessee:
In mid-June, I traveled out to Tennessee to spend time with the family and get to know Darleen better. While out there I was yet again surprised how well I slid into family life and how already the Lord was knitting Darleen’s and my heart together. On top of Pinnacle Mountain I asked her to court me with the intention and goal of marriage. She said yes. One fond memory was a special prayer spot Darleen and I chose together. I have never had a deeper prayer relationship with anyone else in my life. I was surprised at how the Lord had prepared us both for each other. In early July I left for Ireland on a month long mission trip. I wasn’t sure how it was going to work with us being a part so long, especially since we just had started our courtship. Nonetheless, even an ocean away we managed to grow closer to each other and the Lord as He drew our hearts together.

My Move to Tennessee:
In September I moved out to Tennessee to get a job out there, and on October 20th I got the chance to ask the love of my life to become my wife. She answered simply but truly, with radiance and joy in her voice, “of course”. I can still remember the look on her face – one of love and tenderness. I was elated! I don’t believe there was a luckier guy and I can’t believe that God has blessed me with such a wonderful girl. I look forward to the future when God can use our relationship to further His Kingdom and glorify His Name.