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lori & steven mcclure

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15 Ways to Make Love Impossible

Everything can Change in a Moment

umbrella-11Everything can change in a moment.

I’ve been thinking about this idea ‑ not in the context of getting some really great (or really terrible) news, but as it pertains to the way things go in married life.

It’s funny how one careless phrase, one untethered word, or even one wayward glance can (in an instant) ruin a meal or a day or a marriage. For me, it’s a terrible and daunting thing to think that what started as a joke in my head can turn into a weapon once the words leave my mouth.

Everything can change in a moment.

The good news is that truth works both ways. In a blink, we can wound and tear down and diminish, yes, but we can also in the very next moment heal and build up and add to.

We can follow up a comment we shouldn’t have made . . .

  • “Why do you always?”
  • “I wish i’d never”
  • “You used to be . . .”

with one we should . . .

  • “I’m sorry.”
  • “Please forgive me.”

Looking back on our years together, I’m quick to remember all the times things went from zero to devastating in a matter of a few seconds or moments with foolish words. I do well, however, to also remember all the times things were made better by an apology, a hug, a quick and sincere admission of fear or doubt or anger or caffeine withdrawal (it’s a thing).

Everything can change in a moment.

Sometimes this truth hurts. Sometimes this is a heavy and hard reality of life together. But fear not, for just as quickly as a tear can fall, a smile can break, forgiveness can be sought, and forgiveness can be given. Hope can be reborn.

Love can live. Again.

Happy new year, from us to you.

– s.

Bring the Noise(trade) …

 

Hey everybody. Just a few points of interest from us to you:

First, there have been some inquiries about a hardcover version of our book, and it’s coming. The process is a bit more involved than what’s required for an ebook, so bear with us. But it’s coming. Brace yourselves.

Second, our book is still totally and completely and wonderfully available for purchase over at Amazon. We’d love for you to go buy a copy, and then buy one for your friend, and then feel led to buy one for your pastor, and then have your pastor feel led to buy a copy for everybody in your church, and then have your local news do a story on how every marriage in your church – nay, your community! – has been saved, and then do a quick spot on Ellen and then have her give away a copy to everyone in her audience, and then have like 30 million people buy our book and then have people call it “the Harry Potter of marriage books” (though i don’t know what that would even mean) and then take the royalties from all that and go live at disney for a year…

But,  even more than all that, we would love it if you or someone you know (or someone you don’t know) could be helped a bit by reading about where we’ve been and how we got to where we are. And so to that end, we’ve put our book on Noisetrade, which means you can download it for free, and then point other people to do the same. [The site will ask you if you want to leave a tip, and if you do then great (God said for every $100 you give you’ll have ten extra years of good health.) (No, he didn’t.), but if not that’s totally fine, too.]

And last,

we just want to say that in a world where the tools for creative distribution are becoming more and more egalitarian, we know you’re asked to watch/read/comment/share something every 1.2 seconds. And we know that can get old. Thanks for being patient with us and allowing us to intrude upon your day for even a second or two, and in all things,

be well… – s.

It’s Here: 15 Ways to Make Love Impossible

It’s here!!! It’s here!!! 15 Ways to Make Love Impossible is finally here.

And guess what? For the price of one of those fancy coffee drinks, you get to read all about our neuroses, which should leave you feeling pretty good about yourself.

Honestly, we’re having a lot of fun with all this. But you should know a couple of things before you dive in:

  1. We appreciate all the support. We didn’t expect so much of it to come pouring in, so thank you!
  2. A special thanks to those who read our words before they were a book and offered suggestions well over a year ago. You helped us chop and trim and make things better.
  3. You’re going to find mistakes. Since we self-published on a limited non-existent budget, we’ve done the best we could with what we have. We genuinely believe it was better to let the book go out into the world now rather than waiting for perfection. We’ve definitely learned a lot, and I’m sure we’ll find cringe-worthy errors along the way. Or you will. But we’re good with that.

And from Steven:

A couple more things you should know as you prepare to have Your. Entire. Life. Changed. Forever. And Ever.

  1. God wants you to buy our book, and buy a copy for everybody in your prayer circle/growth group/accountability circle. Today. (That’s not true.)
  2. What is true is that Lori and I believe we’ve been called to share a bit of our journey together with you, whoever you may be — not because our journey is better than yours or because it’s funny or awesome or, heaven forbid, because it’s Christian. Simply because, at least at some point along the way, our journey may look like yours. By God’s grace, perhaps you can learn from our mistakes or be comforted in shared failures or find hope that the difficult times don’t have to be the end of the story.

We’re not called to compare our lives but to share them and find strength and hope in the sharing.

15 Ways to Make Love Impossible
15 Ways to Make Love Impossible

(click on the title below to see our book baby on Amazon)

15 Ways to Make Love Impossible

Thanks again, everyone!

We appreciate you all!

Sneak Peek at 15 Ways to Make Love Impossible

Our book is almost ready. Here’s a sneak peek at the cover …

stori cover jpeg

And here’s a little excerpt for you …

Introduction

“Life is divided into three terms – that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, and from the present to live better in the future.”

~ William Wordsworth ~

I met him in Dr. Riggins’ Educational Psychology class in my junior year at Lee College. I noticed him, but then I kind of forgot him. I remembered him again when several girlfriends and I brainstormed date possibilities for each other, but I chose him for someone else.

Test time rolled around, and I needed help. Steven’s smiling face popped into my head, so I called him.

“Is Steven there?”

“Who’s this?”

“Just a friend from class.” Awkward pause and then, “Can I speak to him?”

“Yeah, hang on.” I heard muffled talking and teasing, and then he spoke.

“This is Steven.” His friendly voice warmed my insides and calmed me in a moment. We chatted about tests and notes and class for about a minute and a half. I thanked him, hung up, and didn’t think of him again until he called me several weeks later.

“Hello?”

“Is Lori there?”

“This is Lori.”

“It’s Steven … from class. Do you remember me?”

“I remember you.” My stomach dropped a little as I wiped down counters in the dirty kitchen I’d decided to clean while my roommates all enjoyed more exciting Friday night plans.

“Do you like basketball?”

“Um, yeah.”

“Do you want to go to a Hawks game with me?”

“When?”

“Now.”

“Now?”

“Yeah, now.”

“I’m a mess.”

“Are you dressed?”

“Yes.”

“Then you look great.”

How could I say no? We’d only talked for a few seconds, and still, he surprised me. He stood out like a splash of color in my gray world. He did take me to a Hawks game (along with a crew of kids from the Boys and Girls Club we chaperoned), and we discovered each other that night in a noisy stadium filled with cheers and bright lights.

Every stolen glance, every half-smile, and every word batted back and forth sealed the deal; the search for love ended in Atlanta. We’d found each other. Strange and comforting and wonderfully odd all in a moment – to have the question answered instantly. We matched, and every corny, hokey, romantic cliché made sense. In each other, we’d found home. We belonged together, and I’d never belonged to anyone.

A few weeks later, as we danced in a wet drizzle under night skies, he asked me in between rain-dropped kisses to marry him. I said, yes. That was the romantic proposal with no one around, the one I kept secret from the rest of the world because they’d find our love crazy.

We danced to music only we could hear because we lived in a world only we could see. Love has a way of isolating in the most beautiful kind of bubble. Not a lot can beat the beginning of love in all its passion and purity.

Later, there was a public proposal surrounded by my college choir complete with live piano music. I said, yes, again to the backdrop of echoed, girly awws. I nodded and leaned into his arms, the safest place I’d ever landed. A few months later, we were man and wife.

This is often where the story ends and the happily-ever-after music cued to make us believe forever happens with peace, love, harmony, and perpetually smiling faces.

It doesn’t.

I’m not saying love is impossible or fleeting or unattainable. Quite the opposite. Love is real and wonderful and absolutely possible. However, love requires a significant amount of fight on behalf of its participants. If you’re not willing to battle for it, I’d suggest you skip the obligatory hoopla where you spend thousands of dollars on a wedding, and go straight for the parting of ways. Grab a spoon and some ice cream, and get yourself a few good friends to travel through life with. Don’t go the love route if you’re not ready to fight.

I found my one true love in the parking lot of the Boys and Girls Club in Cleveland, TN. I found him, and I still tried to kill the love he brought. I tried to dodge it again and again and again until I realized it was real; the bottom wasn’t going to drop out. He was the love, and he wouldn’t be stopped. He couldn’t be stopped.

So, if you’ve found your love, may I suggest you learn from my attempts to kill it? Do the opposite of what I did. Perhaps I can save you a few headaches, heartaches, and tears along the way.

Here’s to the messiness of letting your love live because giving love and getting love? It’s not impossible. It just feels like it sometimes.

Steven’s Side

I remember everything happening in pretty much the same way except there was a party at a friend’s house in between the first phone call and the basketball game invite. From that night, I remember her dress, and more to the point, how good she looked in it. She was cold, so I offered her my jacket. First, because my dad taught me to, and second, because some other guy’s dad might’ve taught him the same thing, and I sure as hell didn’t want her to wear his jacket.

The night of the basketball game sits in my memory as a series of snapshots, vignettes, and moments stuck in time — moments burned into my brain and heart and soul. I remember the second when I knew. I knew I had finally found a heart to call home — a safe place to fall — as Dr. Phil is fond of saying.

I walked out to the parking lot to meet her as she arrived, and she came striding around the Club van. I saw her face, and I was born again. She smiled this odd sort of embarrassed smile. What did she have to be embarrassed about? Then, she dipped her head down slightly. I’m pretty sure I lost consciousness for 30 seconds or so. She was and is the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen, the kind of pretty that immediately makes you realize you’re overweight and your nose is disproportionately round on your face.

I remember the van ride to the game, how I kept telling her who sang every song on the radio, unable to control my strange compulsion. I remember taking kids to the bathroom at the game, looking back up at her in her seat, and smiling, dreaming, floating. I remember talking about getting tattoos on the way home from the game, and I remember thinking about her getting tattoos and places on her body where she should get tattoos. And then I remember thinking it would be wise to save those thoughts for a time when I wasn’t responsible for the lives of 12 fifth graders.

In quick succession it all happened: confessions of love, a proposal, a marriage, a (sort of) honeymoon, and life together in married housing at school.

It’s important for me to be clear on this one matter. At different times through the years, both of us have been difficult to love. Wittingly or, much more likely, unwittingly, we have behaved in ways which were deleterious to our love. Suffice to say, as she did so well, love is a fight — a real and raw and ravaging battle. It is, however, worth it.

Worth it in every way.


Hello, Again . . . Again.

Once upon a time, we wrote a book. We submitted it to a contest, which led to an awkward meeting with an agent, which led to a decision not to pursue traditional publishing.

We’re not interested in trying to sell people on our message. We’re not worried about making ourselves into a brand.

All we want is to tell our story.

Now, we’re doing things our way. We’re self-publishing and excited to get our little project out into the world. And if only five people read it? We’ll still be happy.

For real.

Our book, 15 Ways to Make Love Impossible, is coming soon. Here’s a re-introduction since it’s been awhile.

Remember us?

 

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