Just in case you missed the beginning..
I feel completely overwhelmed to even write this post. How do you write about the greatest year of your life? Where do you start? What are the most important events to focus on? If I literally wrote out all of the first year together, this post would be wildly long to read, so I will try to hit on the main parts.
On Friday October 13th, we became boyfriend and girlfriend. It was right after I told him that I loved him. Later that day I was the first person to initiate a kiss(totally and completely out of my character) on my front porch. It was under a full moon and I thought it was crazy because it was so bright that night. I think it’s hilarious that I initiated the first kiss though, because I also was the first to introduce myself in person, but he was the first to initiate the whole beat around the bush way of saying “Hey. Do you like me back.” conversation and he was the first to initiate holding hands.
It was in his car, and we were at a church named His Hands and we were talking and he asked me “Uhm. Can we hold hands?” And I said “Sure. I think that would be really nice.” At this point we weren’t together yet, but this was the night that he asked me to be his girlfriend and then I laid out all my stipulations and in a round about way said, “If you can handle this and meet this requirement and hold your cool, I’ll trust you and agree to it.” Ugh. I know right? SO HARSH. But hey, a worn heart doesn’t play games anymore. And honesty is your best friend.
When our hands connected I remember thinking, “Oh wow. This is weird. His hand actually fits mine really well. Like his palm is perfect. The way our fingers interlace is perfect. Is this the feeling they always go on and on about in those corny romance books? My hand is really sweaty. I think his hand is sweaty too. I hope he’s not grossed out by our sweat intermingling, because I’m okay with it. Why are my thoughts so weird?! I like holding his hand a lot. This is really nice. …did he just sigh?!”
The first time we held hands he made the sweetest most exaggerated little sigh. Which probably sounds corny to you, but this girl had never experienced affection like this before. When a guy is willing to act like a 1950’s cartoon while he’s wooing the lady he wants and is willing to show his intentions in a sweet and innocent way, you know you’ve found a confident/unashamed keeper. And Asa is the first man that has never been ashamed, inappropriate, or weird about making sure I knew he was totally into me and loved even the smallest gestures of affection. To this day he has never kept score with me about affection and always always puts my comfort levels first. He never creates a power play and I think that’s an amazing thing. Especially in the 21st century dating scene when everyone wants to be the alpha and be adored.
Y’all, pay attention… It is ALWAYS worth it to be humble and let your person know you think they are wildly amazing and respect their wishes and values. You cherish them and treat them with respect and in a selfless way, I’m telling you… You will NOT regret that kindness.
And pleaseeeeeee don’t settle for anyone less. If they aren’t willing to respect you, and be a mature adult. They’re not ready for you. Don’t waste your time. Don’t waste your heart. God has His best out there for you. It is SO worth waiting for that!
Asa is a helper. He always helps me and it is one of the greatest things he could ever give me. I need tons of help. As an independent thinking woman, it is extremely hard for me to accept help from people. So when I told Asa that all I expected from him was for him to love God FIRST, and to be my best friend/partner/us be a team… Man, did he show out. He is ALL THE TIME helping me.
He is all the time working on our Tiny House. All the time helping me with my Katie Weeks Photo business. All the time helping me with house stuff… It literally never ends. The list of things he helps me with never ends. And he NEVER asks for anything in return. Wild. Absolutely WILD. In fact, it can be a CHORE for me to get him to LET me help him with his things because he’s so busy helping me with my things!
In the beginning of our relationship I was very clear though that I wanted to live in a Tiny House. Three days into our relationship I asked him, “So.. Uh. How do you feel about Tiny Houses? Cause I wasn’t kidding. I want to build one and live in it.” And Asa was like, “I think it would be cool. I can do it. I lived in China for a year and that was practically a Tiny House.”
Then I asked him the whopper of a question, “How do you feel about compost toilets? Cause that is in my plan too.” And he’s like, “I don’t think it will be a problem. I’m not squeamish. And I think it does save a lot of hassle in the long run. You will just need to show me how to use it and take care of it.”
And I’m thinking, “Hmmm. Sure… Yeah. He says this now…. Time will tell. We’ll see!”
So time does move on and time does tell.
One day I was in a major rush and Asa was with me. I really had to use the bathroom, but my pee jug was full… Which means it’s time to empty it and I felt so awkward about emptying it in front of him. Pee jugs are those things that you MUST be adamant about emptying. Compost toilets really aren’t THAT bad to deal with, AS LONG as you’re willing to follow the time schedule that goes with it. If you’re lazy about changing things and emptying things, you will so much regret it. It sucks so bad. DO NOT GET A COMPOST TOILET IF YOU ARE LAZY. DON’T.
So Asa, WITHOUT HESITATION, jumps up and starts unlatching my toilet lid from the waste bin so he can remove the pee jug. Meanwhile I’m frozen and freaking out because suddenly I realize he’s about to look at my poop, and he will totally smell my pee when he dumps it. And what if he gets something on himself… I will die and forever be mortified. Daddy’s going to find me dead in this house. Who is still going to love you after they handle your pee and poop?! We’re not playing house. We’re not having sex. There is absolutely NO benefit for him out of this except for making me completely stunned. Who is this guy?! I HAVE TO STOP HIM NOW BEFORE HE GETS THE LID UP!
So I practically pounce on Asa and I beg him to stop. Funny thing is, he convinces me to let him empty my jug because in the future he is going to do it and wants to make sure he knows the process. And he currently does. Still. He empties my pee jug anytime that he sees it’s full. And I LOVE that. Nothing is more beautiful than a man taking care of business. No matter what that business is. I prefer it to NOT be human waste, but it’s crazy how he loves me and I appreciate his heart for that. I love that he sees something that needs to be done, and then goes and does it. Again, he’s intentional and fully committed. BUT! To this day, he has not and will not empty out the poop bin until we’re married.
I literally don’t think I could handle him handling my poop without us being husband and wife. I don’t know. Call me crazy, but that is somehow crossing a line. I think it’s wonderful and beautiful that he’s willing to help me THAT much, but I can fully handle it on my own until then.
During our relationship we have always been best friends first. We have not been perfect because we’re two very imperfect people, and our conversation/communication styles are very different. I speak backwards sometimes. And I speak southern. It’s what I’ve been flooded around my whole life, so sometimes I will say something that is incorrect and I don’t understand how it is incorrect until I REALLY dissect it. Or he doesn’t know what it means because it’s southern slang, and then I have to explain it, and as you know sometimes a saying’s meaning has lost itself over time and it’s just not explainable to anyone that hasn’t grown up with it. And Asa’s communication patterns are ALL OVER THE PLACE so I really have to focus when we’re communicating sometimes. I blame it on him learning and knowing so many different languages and cultures and how to speak to people in those cultures. He is wildly literate. SO literate that it is WAY out of my league.
But no matter how we communicate or if we do get frustrated, we have always made sure at the end of the day that each other was okay and that we both knew nothing has changed. Intentions have remained the same. Because of that ground work of consistency and openness, I trust Asa fully and I know it is a Jesus thing. I know who Asa is who he says he is and will do what he says he will do. And words of affirmation are necessary. It is SO good to build each other up.
Something that is different for me in my relationship with Asa compared to previous relationships I’ve had… is that we’re not usually sarcastic with each other. Which I find refreshing. Don’t get me wrong. I love sarcasm. I think it can be hilarious and a fun little joke. But I think it most definitely has a time and a place. Respect towards your significant other always comes before sarcasm. Demeaning your person is never an okay thing. Putting them down is never okay. It breaks trust with them, and it really ends up hurting you too. Whether or not you realize that. It can kill a good mood in a heartbeat, and a good relationship fast! That is really something that God has taught me through Asa. Edifying each other is a very good thing. And as a Christian that is one of our jobs. (1 Thessalonians 5)
I also can not emphasis how important consistency has been to me. It is crazy important to remain consistent in your moral convictions and in your actions in a relationship. You set the tone.You create the trust. You set the boundaries. Boundaries will become a faithful friend if you let them. And most importantly Jesus is the only part that matters. Everything is about Him. In your individual life, everything should be about Him. So together, everything should remain about Him. I can not stress this enough, and this is one of those fundamental things you will have to remind yourself until the day you die. This isn’t a one time “Oh I got this!” way of thinking. This is a life long lesson for the Christ follower/believer.
Another thing that I’ve just been so overwhelmed by has been the support of our parents. Asa’s parents LOVE me. The first time I met them, I was SO nervous. I had no idea what to expect, but I realized that they were the first parents of a guy I was dating that I 100% cared about what they thought of me. I wanted SO badly for them to like me, because I loved Asa.
The first time we sat down and got to know each other, I knew I loved them. Instantly. They are so kind, genuine, and happy. I fell in love with Darnea because of her spunk and her quick way of telling people what was on her mind. And I loved that Herb knew so much about music, artists, and bands. But most importantly I loved that after 30+ years you could still tell that they loved each other and that their love was a reflection of Christ and the Church. It means a lot to me that they’re still together, that they’re encouragers, and that they both talk about Jesus with such love and warmth in their voices. They reminded me so much of my parents in their own ways, and I knew someone incredible had found me right there and then. That this was ONLY a God thing.
And I really can not stress enough how appreciative I am that my parents love Asa. Through and through. Early into our relationship Grandma had asked Daddy, “Well, what do you think about the boy?” And Daddy told her without blinking an eye, “I’d marry them right here and now!” And she was like, “D’Lawd! You would not! They’ve only JUST started courtin’!” And Daddy smiled and yelled back, “I would too, Mama! I love the boy!”
Which has NEVER happened. Ever. Daddy has NEVER said anything even remotely along the lines of anything like that, especially THAT soon. He’s never said that about anyone a Weeks girl has ever dated. Ever. (Jared spent 5 years breaking that man down into loving him. Jared deserves a badge of honor. And it wasn’t even anything that Jared did to deserve this treatment. Daddy was just depressed and angry during that time. He mourned HARD about Tristan growing up and getting older.)
One time I had a crazy hilarious story to tell about a few mutual friends of ours that had done something so out of character. Rarely ever do I have a story that funny or special to tell, so I was REALLY pumping this thing up when I found Daddy that evening.
I ran up their apartment stairs yelling, “Daddy! Daddy! We have the greatest news!”
And he interrupted me and said, “HOT DAWG! Y’all got the marriage license!? Let’s do this right now!” And it was like… 3 months into our relationship?? I was COMPLETELY stunned. I didn’t even know how to tell my story after that.
In the south, things can be tricky when it comes to interracial dating. Honestly, I think it can be tricky everywhere, but for our story the location is in the south. I knew though that I would have the support of my my parents because they’ve always been supportive of my life choices as long as they were healthy, wise, and centered around Jesus.
Growing up this whole question of “Are interracial marriages right?” kind of followed my family around. And looking back over everything now, I think God always had prepared the way for mine and Asa’s relationship to be accepted by those close to my family.
One day me and Daddy were talking. This was right after me and Asa became a couple and I straight up asked him what his thoughts were. And he tells me, “Katie, I really love Asa. He is the best thing you’ve ever brought home. He’s the most honest person I think you’ve ever brought home. I 100% give my blessing over the whole relationship. I love him and I’m happy for you.”
Then he tells me, “I was teaching this bible study in the 1980’s, and the question came up… ‘Well is it right for a white person and a black person to marry?’ And I responded by saying… ‘Well that’s the wrong question to ask. The right question is to ask ‘Is this the person that the Holy Spirit has for me?’ That with God it’s not about race. It’s about who the Holy Spirit has in mind for you to spend the rest of your life with. So you have to pray and seek and ask Him, ‘‘Is this the person that the Holy Spirit has for me?”
Growing up someone would sometimes say something about interracial dating, and then they would ask Daddy what he thought or what he would do if one of his girls brought a boy home that was anything other than a white male. Being a little kid overhearing these discussions, I never understood what the big deal was. I knew race was a thing, but I was taught to think of a person by their character and how they were with other people. If someone wasn’t a good person, it wasn’t a mind set of “Oh. Well you’re bad because you’re this.“ It was more like “Oh you’re bad because you chose to react badly and lash out.” Humans are humans. We all act stupid sometimes.
Daddy and Mama would always boldly tell someone when they weren’t right, but they would do so in truth and love. There was never a time that I remember them being hateful about it, but they would always keep their calm and just ask, “Show me where it says people of different races shouldn’t marry because of their race in the bible? Show me. It’s not there.”
I knew my parents would love Asa though. He is amazing. He is kind, sweet, gentle, tender, hilarious, steadfast, protective, firm in his beliefs, strong in the Lord, and he has compassion towards those around him.
I can only remember one time that a race thing has blatantly came up while we were out and about. We were at church, and this woman says, “Oh. Y’all are so cute! I’m in an interracial relationship too! My boyfriend is black too.” And I just remember thinking, “Asa’s not exactly black. He tells me that he’s both black and white. Not just one…. I really don’t know how to respond to what she just said. I’m not offended, but I just don’t know what to say. Do I say congratulations on your interracial relationship? Asa’s not some prize because he’s mixed. I don’t want people to look at me like I’m some how more progressive because I’m dating a mixed person. People should be excited about our relationship because of who we are. Not because of how we look together. Did Asa even hear her?? He hasn’t said anything, except nice to meet you.”
So we get back into the car after service and I asked him what he thought. He says, “I thought I heard her say that, but I wasn’t completely sure. It’s just so weird to me, because ALL of my relationships are interracial. I can not imagine a different scenario. I’m mixed. And mixed people are all different. None of us are the same. We all have different views about being mixed. And culturally, the “mixed” culture is different for each and every mixed person.”
These are things I’ve really never thought about. These are things I’ve never HAD to really think about, but very soon after becoming Asa’s girlfriend, and growing with the Moon family, I knew that my job is not to “figure race things out.” Race is a gray topic. It’s not a cookie cutter, one answer suits all type of deal. It’s dynamic. Every culture has it. Every culture is different.
My job is to focus on Jesus. My job in our relationship is to lift Asa up. My job is to pray for him always. My job is to be his best friend and to love him. Race things at the end of the day don’t matter. People will believe what they want. People will say what they want. As long as I know where I stand with Jesus, everything will turn out okay.
During our relationship I was really big on setting goals but also let’s be honest… They were truly stipulations. In the beginning I told Asa he had to meet my family and love them before I agreed to be his girlfriend. Then he said he wanted to get married, and I announced I wasn’t marrying anytime soon because he needed to finish school, get a job, and we needed more time together. And I said that I needed to get my Tiny House built and that I wanted to live in it by myself for a time before we got engaged so I would know what it was like. All to which he totally agreed with, but ultimately… Blah. Blah. Blah. All excuses.
Then time went on and I realized, “Hey. I don’t HAVE to live in this tiny house to know what it will be like to live alone. I’m already kind of living alone now, and it’s not that great.” And so I told him that I wouldn’t mind being engaged before the house was finished, but that before we got married the house HAD to be done.
Then one night Asa and I were sitting with his sister and her boyfriend. We all knew that eventually our relationships would all end up in marriage. This was no secret, so we were discussing timelines. Jordan asked me when Asa and I would get married and I said the words out loud, “Oh. We have to finish my house soon. We can’t get married until it’s finished because I want us to be independent from our parents, and I feel like if my house isn’t completed that Asa would be down-grading if he moved in with me to my current living situation.”
Y’all let me break this down for a second. My current house is my childhood home. A late 1800’s sharecropper’s farm house. It was devoured by termites. It’s currently not safe to live in because it’s shifting and slowly crumbling everyday. The doors are visibly starting to slant sideways, and the walls have fresh cracks going up the drywall. My compost toilet(I’ve upgraded because it used to be a bucket. I’m not even remotely kidding. You read it right) is in my living room/kitchen, and I FINALLY have running water after a YEAR. My sink is a water hose over a tub that I have to take out to dump, and to take a shower I either have to go to the gym, or run to my parent’s apartment. And I’m currently living in the middle of boxes meant for storage that contain my stuff, and that contain my parent’s things. It has been an incredibly frustrating ride.
My home has never been something glamorous, and a lot of times I have felt ashamed of it. I am proud that my childhood home is my home, but I was always concerned that people wouldn’t appreciate it the way I do. No one knew of the memories made there besides us. Those memories are worth everything to me. One of mine and Tristan’s friends told us one time in the driveway, “Man. It’s incredible. To live so poor, yet y’all are seriously the happiest most loving people I’ve ever met in my life.”
Honestly though, I didn’t take offense to her words. My family doesn’t owe anybody a dime, and we value people WAY more than material things. We work hard, and try our best to spend our money wisely to stay out of debt. We try our best to serve Jesus and others in any way we know how. We know happiness and joy only come from God. And we can tell you story after story of the times when we couldn’t afford things, or we were really REALLY sick and God showed up and blessed us in this little 800 square foot house. I’m talking about life altering, crippling, brain damaging fevers, convulsions, kidney failing, trees falling on the house and not making ONE scratch, tornadoes tearing up homes around us and our house being untouched. People have been married here, born here, and died here. This house has a history from the late 1800’s. You can not tell me I’m not rich. We may not have tons of money or things of value, but we have Jesus and that is everything and the only thing that matters to us.
Asa has always told me though that he didn’t care where we lived as long as we could be together. That he didn’t think the current inconvenient living situation was valid enough to detour his decision of wanting to marry me, and that we wouldn’t be in that situation for very long. I always persisted that wasn’t the case though, because of pride. And that was the moment I realized I had a lot of pride in me about it and that I was standing in the way of my own happiness.
At this point I had been asking and praying for God’s permission about marrying Asa. I knew I had it, but I really wasn’t sure about the timing. Timing is everything. Go too early and things might fall apart because of lack of wisdom and maturity. Wait too long because of fear and pride and you might miss the blessing.
So on the way home after that gathering, I told Asa “I’ve been thinking, and I don’t think I would mind getting engaged soon. And if you’re still okay with getting married before the house gets completed, I don’t see why not… But it is still my utmost goal to have it done before the wedding.” And he turns to me and says, “You do realize that the only reason why we’re waiting right now is because of you. I’m more than happy to get the ball rolling, and I know that if I have to move into the old place, we won’t be there for very long because the tiny house will be done soon. The tiny house really will be done soon. We’re building it together.”
When he said that, I was floored. Again. I’m not even exaggerating. Asa is naturally the most romantic person on the planet.
Now I feel a weight lifted. 2017 has been a year of stress for me. 2016 was too, because my house and my home as I knew it was literally being ripped from my life. In 2017 I felt like I had to be wonder woman. I felt like I had to build this house doing most of the work. Now I’ve realized that I don’t have to. That my family and Asa’s family have been RIGHT THERE helping me build this house every step. And of course Tony, who is family, has always been there every step of the way talking me down off of the ledge.
I am crazy blessed to have such a wonderful, loving, and supportive tribe. We are family.
So now came the time for praying permission for THE RIGHT time to get married and ring shopping, and how I got upset and I thought about going down there to the Jared’s Galleria of jewelry and talking to some man that lied to Asa and me and letting him know what for. Honestly, though. The part that made me upset was that he made Asa upset. Asa can obviously take care of himself, but I was all too ready to help.
But all of that drama will come in the next story. Haha!
Here comes the ring shopping and proposal story….