An engagement story which I will attempt to tell in 6 lines, because Eldest does not want gushing.

Amanda and Ben have know each other for years – our families are friends.  After years of barely saying ‘hi’, this summer something clicked and they began to fall in love.  All fall they chatted.  Skyped. Burned thru tracfone minutes.  He surprised her in September by inviting her to Taiwan for Christmas. He asked John at Thanksgiving for permission to propose.

On Christmas Eve on a riverbank in Taipei Ben asked Amanda to marry him.  She said yes.

I have been praying for this young man since Amanda was born.  He was a toddler then, and I of course had no idea who he was at the time.  Now I know.  He is a joy, and they are beautiful together.  Praise God, the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Including this one given at Christmas time.

Click on the pictures for larger versions and captions.

(OK, you two, this was longer than I wanted it to be, but this much joy could not be contained in 6 lines! May God bless and keep you both.)


  1. Wow! Congratulations to them and to you too!

  2. Oh, I love it. I love it! Congratulations to Amanda and Ben, and to both of your families. (Sniffle sniffle.) Such a proud moment. (And how could anyone keep THAT great news to six lines? I’m sure you’ll be forgiven!)

  3. So Awesome! God is good, all the time.

    Best wishes to Amanda and Ben, and blessings for a long and happy life together!

  4. Mary, I am SO EXCITED. This is just so wonderful.


  5. Congratulations Amanda and Ben!!!! And to your families!!! What an exciting time. I am sure that you are counting down the days until she returns home. Happy New Year Mary!

  6. julee feser says:

    congratulations to mom-in-law to be!! how joyous! I can feel your happiness. I am so happy for you al. Good reminder to kee praying for our kid’s future spouses to be


  7. Congratulations! Such wonderful news and even better that you are so thrilled about it too!!! God is so good, His perfect plan….

  8. Congratulations to the happy couple as well as to the mother of the bride! You must be so thrilled!!

  9. No way! What a lovely Christmas gift for everyone 🙂 Congrats to the happy couple and happy parents as well.

  10. OH, how fun! Thanks for taking more than the six lines.

  11. What a very BIG DEAL! You’re firsborn… engaged! Wowzers. There is no way you can keep to six lines for such a momentous occasion.
    Congratulations to all.

  12. Such happy news at such a happy time. Congratulations to you all!

  13. Sweet story and a wonderful testament of faith. I’ll be brief since it was silly of them to expect the Mom to restrain her joy!

  14. WOW! Congrats to Amanda and Ben. And Congrats to you for having another “child” to add to your brood.

    (No way could this have been kept to 6 lines or less, just not possible.)

  15. Aww, congratulations!

    You know, when I saw that pic of them on the computer screen I remembered she was in Taiwan with “friends” and I thought, “Hmmm…”

  16. Blessings to them and to your family! What incredibly exciting Christmas news. 🙂

  17. AAAH! Congratulations!!! What a blessing to see your hopes & prayers answered with a godly spouse for your daughter! Looking forward to hearing all about your wedding preparations!!!

  18. Congratulations to you all. God is good.

  19. Congratulations Amanda and Ben! And congrats to the rest of the Owlhaven family, looks like you guys are expanding yet again!

  20. Congratulations Amanda! Oh yes, and Ben too! 🙂 Young love….sigh…makes one all warm and fuzzy inside! 🙂

  21. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story! Congratulations to both of your families.

  22. Congratulations!!! What a good looking couple and a romantic proposal!!
    That is so neat that you have been praying for him since his childhood. What joy to see God’s faithfulness in such a tangible way.

  23. Gush away.

    That is the bride’s mother’s duty isn’t it?

  24. How WONDERFUL!!!! You’re gaining another son! I wondered if something was up when I saw your photos you posted of Christmas and thought your oldest looked especially radiant in one particular photo. 🙂 Congratulations Ben and Amanda! 🙂

  25. Congrats!! Such a wonderful Christmas event!

  26. Congrats to all! I, too, saw the arm around the shoulder in the photo montage from Christmas and thought “ah, ‘friends’! Yay for eldest!” and now I’m so happy to hear her wonderful news.

  27. Congratulations to your family. This is such a beautiful memory to be woven into the tapestry of your lives.

  28. Congrats!!!

  29. What a blessing for your family and theirs! Congratulations!

  30. They are so cute together. I know the wedding will be a beautiful beginning!

  31. Yahooo! That is just the most exciting Christmas news. God bless.

  32. They are beautiful!

  33. That is the sweetest story. I don’t know how you contained yourself! Six lines? Pshaw!

  34. How exciting!!!!!!!! Congratulations!!! 🙂

  35. Congratulations!!!

  36. What wonderful news!!

  37. Oh, congratulations to Ben, Amanda and both families! 🙂

  38. Ah, Mary, your words just sparkle with your excitement! Cannot even begin to imagine the joy of seeing your child fall in love with the right person…it is my prayer, too! So happy for your whole family, and especially your sweet girl.

  39. No gushing?!? But that’s a Mom’s job!
    Congratulations to all. May the Lord bless you and keep you.

  40. Congratulations !! You can tell how much they are in love — they simply beam.

  41. Congratulations to them both! God always answers prayers, in His perfect plan and timing. I hope we’ll get a little glimpse of the eventual wedding too! Merry Christmas, indeed!

  42. My husband proposed to me seven Christmases ago! I think it is the PERFECT Christmas present.

  43. Congratulations to the happy couple and their families! I wish them a long and happy life together. God bless.


  44. *gasp*
    Mary, you must be overthemoon! Okay I won’t gush. Congratulations. God bless them in the name of Jesus.

  45. Yay! Congratulations to the happy couple. News like that must be shared!

  46. Congratulations to your eldest. 🙂
    Now the fun and excitement of planning a wedding comes! Enjoy every minute.

  47. Congratulations to the newly engaged couple.

    We have one of those in our family too, and I’m thrilled. It happened last Monday night.

  48. Awww, how awesome! Congrats to everyone!

  49. Congrats to you and John!!! How exciting.

  50. Congrats to your family. A wedding is always such fun. Have a wonderful time