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30 Days of Thankfulness Day 2

I often post a list of all the things for which I’m thankful on Thanksgiving. But, in an effort to get back into the habit of daily blogging, I’ve decided to do a post a day for the month of November.

2. Gregg

gregg hallee cavern

Despite the fact that neither one of us were looking for a relationship when we met, within a day of meeting Gregg in person, he and I were talking about marriage. Forget the fact that I was recently separated from my husband of nearly 10 years, forget the fact that it was 3 short months after 9/11 and Gregg was in a Special Forces unit about to deploy, forget the fact that he lived 354 miles away from my house — we KNEW we would be married.

We absolutely, totally, and completely fell in love with each other at first sight.

When God said, ” It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him,” (Genesis 2:18) there are two Hebrew words that could have been used for “not good.” One is ‘ên tôb, which means that something is lacking. As in, this coffee is lacking cinnamon, or these mashed potatoes are lacking salt. The other, the one that was used, is lõ’tôb, which means positively bad. As in, it is positively bad that man is alone, so I will make for him a helper.

We are designed to want to be in a relationship with someone. We are commanded by God to make that relationship monogamous, permanent, and, above all, a reflection of Christ’s relationship with us .

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:25-27

What does that mean?

What it means is that Christ loves us so much that He died for us. He stepped up, was beaten until He didn’t even resemble a man anymore, then nailed to a wooden cross until His lungs filled with fluid and suffocated Him. And He did it because He LOVES us.

Husbands are supposed to love their wives that much. God’s perfect model for marriage has husbands loving and adoring their wives to the point that they would step up and die for them.

Conversely, women are to love and respect their husbands. To hold them in high esteem. To give to them the kind of unconditional respect that rivals the unconditional love their husbands should have for them. To love them tenderly, affectionately, and passionately.

Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. ~Proverbs 31:1-12

Genesis 2:24 says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” The term “one” used here is the same term used in Deuteronomy 6:4 describing the holy trinity: “Hear O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one.” I think that is a powerful message from God that puts man and wife as one – one flesh, one in the eyes of God as much as the trinity of God is one.

When a husband loves his wife with the perfect, agape love of Christ, and when his wife gives him unconditional respect and a tender affectionate love in return, then you have a perfect model of a marriage as given to us by God. Then you have the two becoming “one” – a powerful force with which to be reckoned.

I am daily thrilled and in awe of this man with whom I am “one”. Every single day, our love and respect grows. I get excited to see him at the end of the day. I love working with him on my books or on projects. I *LOVE* being the mother of his children and parenting our three children together. I get excited on date nights like a teen girl being asked out by her crush. I am so thankful, daily to God, for bringing us together and for both of us being open to the voice of the Holy Spirit that told us, “This is your *one*.”
Hallee Bridgeman Precious Signature


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A Romance Writer’s Real Life ‘Love at First Sight’ Story

In New Orleans, March 2002

In December of 2001, my (now ex) husband told me he was in love with, and having an affair with, my best friend. We had celebrated our 9-year anniversary just four months before, and we had a 4-year-old daughter, Kaylee. He had a lot of substance abuse problems and other addictions, and we had the normal financial problems that come with that kind of addictive lifestyle. Consequently, life was a little hard, but I desperately tried to keep everything together and normal for Kaylee. When he told me about his affair, one of my first emotions was relief, which made the decision to end our marriage very easy.

I was tired. I’d been the primary money-maker for years. I did most of the hands-on parenting. My job was demanding. I managed our home. I got up every morning at 4AM so that I could write my books. I was active in my church. My (now ex) husband was very demanding and selfish of my time and attention. I was simply tired. I only had a desire to set up a little house for me and Kaylee and live the rest of my life alone, man-free. The concept was incredibly appealing.

Within two weeks, I was moved out and set up in my new place. For those of you who think that I moved too fast to end my marriage, I’ll add that the week before I moved out, he moved his girlfriend into our home and stayed with her in the guest room.

By that time, I’d been writing for about three years and had ten books written. I’d also been actively involved with a writing community on America Online (AOL) and a writing email group that sprang out of that community of about 20-30 people. From this community, and within this email group, I made several friends (many of whom are still my friends today). One friend, a woman we called C.D., lived within a few hours of me, in central Florida. One free weekend in January, a couple weeks after I moved into my own place, I drove down to meet her in person. We had the best weekend. C.D. had once been a stand-up comedian, and had me rolling and laughing more than I had in years. It was a wonderful visit.

April 2003

When I got home, I went to work on a book and my computer crashed. It had been a hand-me-down from my boss, so when I got it, it was already on its last legs. Computers crash all the time. That’s just a fact of life. But, this computer crashed with my 10 novels on it, and I had no backups.

I called C.D. and asked if her husband could help me. He was (and I’m sure still is) a computer technician. Unfortunately, he wasn’t available. C.D. said, “Call Gregg.”

I said, “Who’s Gregg?”

She said, “You know Gregg.” Then she gave me his AOL screenname.

I said, “I don’t know him. I can’t call him.”

She said, “Of course you know him. You email with him in the group every day. He can help. Call him.”

So, she gave me his number.  And I called him.

Gregg was wonderful on the phone. Me? Not so much. He tried talking me through getting to my books on the hard drive, but I am not technically proficient and have never pretended to be. Finally, after several (I’m sure frustrating) minutes, he said, “Listen. I am driving down to C.D.’s house this weekend and will go through Tallahassee. Let me just come by your house and I’ll look at it there.”

He lived in Alabama — about 350 miles from my house in Florida.

Disclaimer: This is not an encouragement for anyone out there to invite someone into your home whom you know only from online. Because I knew C.D., and because C.D. and Gregg were close friends for many years and had stayed in and out of each others’ homes many times, I agreed.

Wedding Reception on our 1-Year Anniversary, June 2003

While I was very clearly NOT on the “market”, not looking for a man, and not interested in a relationship, I was nowhere near what Gregg was looking for, either. As I talked about on my Hallee the Homemaker blog during the study of The Power of a Praying Wife, Gregg would pray to God, “Dear God, please let me meet a wife, but she must have never been married, have no children, be able to have children, be shorter than me, and live within fifty miles of me.” I met absolutely none of those standards. As such, when we arranged to have him come fix my computer, he was coming to fix my computer. Neither one of us had any concept of anything else.

Gregg arrived at my home on a Friday evening (Kaylee was not home that weekend). My dog, Maia, an Akita mix I’d had to once catch mid-air as she leaped to attack a friend whose keys jingled the wrong way, ran out to greet Gregg when he arrived. She’d gotten past me, and made a beeline for him. I cautioned him about her, but when I got to them, I found Maia on her back, her stomach exposed, tail thumping the ground, tongue lolling out like the happiest dog on the planet. If I’d had even the slightest bit of apprehension about letting Gregg in, it went away with Maia’s acceptance of him.

Gregg often tells this story, and he says that when I stepped out of my house and he looked at me on my little porch, he knew very quickly he was “in trouble.” His attraction for me was immediate and absolute.

We hugged hello, not something I’m personally prone to do, and it felt…right. I was comfortable talking to him and chatting with him as he came into my house. After initial polite pleasantries, he went right to the point and asked where the computer was. Within minutes, he’d restored my computer. Then he invited me to dinner.
We drove down the street and ate chicken at Boston Market. We held hands for the first time as we prayed over the meal.

We could not stop talking. I had a spare bedroom and spare bathroom. He spent the weekend and every single minute with him was perfect. Absolutely perfect. By the end of the weekend, we were hinting at talks of marriage.

I’m not kidding. I was married, recently separated, and absolutely exhausted. But talking with this beautiful, brilliant man about marriage was the most natural thing in the world. Until that moment in time, I would have said that “love at first sight” was something romance writers like me just used as a plot launch. I would never, ever have believed it to be a real “thing”. But I can tell you in all honesty right now, I fell in love with Gregg the moment we met, and that love has done nothing but multiply over the years.

That was January 12th. Four weeks after I’d left my (now ex) husband. On March 22nd, Gregg asked me to marry him, and I happily and readily agreed. On May 23rd, my divorce was final from my ex-husband. On June 28th, at the Calhoun County Courthouse in Anniston, Alabama, we said our marriage vows in front of the Honorable Arthur Murray.

Our 9-Year Anniversary, June 2011

We have had an amazing, adventerous decade of life together. We’ve grown personally, spiritually, and together. We’ve made mistakes, have hurt each other, have healed, and have grown closer together. We are partners. We are one. He is my hero and I am his bride.

I am thankful to God, every single day, that C.D.’s husband was unavailable when I called, that I had the courage to call Gregg, and that he finally got so frustrated with me on the phone that he offered to come fix my computer in person. I am so thankful for every second of my marriage to this amazing, wonderful man, and am so proud to be his wife.

Happy 10th Anniversary, my remarkable husband. I look forward to many more decades together.
Hallee Bridgeman Precious Signature


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
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30 Days of Bloggity Bloggness: Day 21

Day 21: Something you could never get tired of doing

This is going to sound all mushy and such, but it’s the truth: Being in the same room as my husband.

We have spent most of our marriage apart — not just typical apart, but in different time zones apart.  To be together often required traveling long distances and enjoying snatches of time before they were taken away again.

He’s now been home 8 straight months.  That’s the longest stretch of time we’ve been in the same time zone, much less in the same city.  Every night we go to bed together, and every morning we wake up together.

I could never get tired of being in the same room with him.
Hallee Bridgeman Precious Signature


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30 Days of Bloggity Bloggness: Day 15

Day 15: A moment you’ve felt satisfied with your life

I’ve had this open all day and couldn’t really come up with an answer.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 says:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good.  Abstain from every form of evil.

I make an effort constantly to be true to this passage.  I try always to be thankful and constantly pray.  What this does, in effect, is not make me unsatisfied — which is why I don’t think I can come up with a moment of satisfaction.  I want very much to be in God’s will, whether that makes me satisfied personally or not.

I realize this is a non-answer.  I just can’t think of a moment I was “satisfied” with my life.

At this moment in time, sitting here right now next to my husband (who happens to not be in Afghanistan) I think I can come up with one answer.

On August 14th, Gregg came home permanently from Afghanistan.  We started a “normal” life, he’s working a “normal” job.  My marriage is strong, my kids are healthy and well behaved, my church is amazing, my books are being released, it’s almost time to plant the garden, our 1-year-old puppy is almost completely house broken…at this moment in time, I’m quite satisfied with my life.
Hallee Bridgeman Precious Signature


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30 Days of Bloggity Bloggness: Day 1

In an effort for everyone to get to know me a little better, I thought I’d do this 30 Days of Bloggity Bloggness that I stole from my friend, Angela.

Day 1: Introduce, recent picture of yourself, 15 interesting facts

I am Hallee Bridgeman.  I am married to Gregg and I’m a mother of three kids (Kaylee, 15; Scott, 5; Johnathan [Jeb], 3).  I live in small town Kentucky and L-O-V-E living here.  This July we’ll have been here for 5 years.  Gregg and I came through here on our honeymoon and I told him I wanted to live here.  He moved us 5 years later.

I am a Christian.  That should be apparent in everything I do and everything I say.  I believe that Christians should strive to be “set apart” – different from the world around them, and always heaven-minded.  It makes me seem odd even to my Christian friends.  In everything I do, watch, read, or listen to, I ask myself two questions: Does it glorify God?  Does it not glorify evil?  If the answer is “no” to either question, I don’t do it, read it, listen to it, or watch it.

I have another blog — Hallee the Homemaker.  At that blog I talk about everything homemaker-ish, from being a wife or mother to cleaning with vinegar to how to make homemade mayonnaise, and anything and everything in between.

This blog is new for me.  I don’t know yet if my audience will be other readers, other writers, or just a mix of the two, so I’m not entirely certain what this blog will be like.  While we’re figuring that out, I’ll be doing this Bloggity Bloggness!

Now for my recent picture:

Gregg & Hallee in Kuwait

And 15 interesting facts about me:

  1. I was very nearly born in a helicopter over Nurnberg, Germany.
  2. I am an Army brat, my husband is an Army brat, and I am a National Guard wife.  I LOVE our nation’s military.
  3. I have a broken tailbone.  It’s been almost 4 years since I broke it, and the most recent x-rays show it still broken.  This complicates being a writer and blogger because of the sitting for long times.
  4. I follow a Levitical diet — meaning, if it is disallowed by the Book Leviticus in the Bible, I don’t eat it.  This includes pork and most seafood (we only consume fish that has both fins and scales.)  We also try very hard to focus on a natural diet – I grind my own wheat to make my own bread and pasta, I make almost everything from scratch, we prefer local meats, we try to purchase local or organic produce, etc.
  5. Few things bring me more pleasure than feeding friends and family good food that they enjoy.  Throwing dinner parties is one of my favorite things to do.
  6. I love to travel.  My most recent excursions included Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Kuwait.
  7. I love the change in seasons.  If I could, I’d redecorate my house for every season.  I think that’s why I love Kentucky so much — 4 textbook perfect seasons.
  8. I ran an office for a commercial general contractor for 12 years.  I am incredibly interested in architecture and engineering because of it.
  9. I am terrified of heights.  I get terrible vertigo just looking out of the window of a tall building.  I could not watch the scene in the most recent Mission Impossible that had Tom Cruise climbing the outside of the tallest building in the world.  I had a mini panic attack in the movie trying to watch it.
  10. I love movies.  It makes it hard sometimes, because our standards are so high about what we’ll watch (see my introduction).  My husband and I both love to go to the movies as a date and have been known to come out of one movie and buy tickets to another right away.  One year, we took a long weekend and went to New Orleans and Biloxi, Mississippi.  During that long weekend, we saw four war movies.  It was awesome.  Band of Brothers is one of my favorite productions of all time.
  11. The Jewel Trilogy was originally written as a contemporary romance series.  I re-wrote it for a Christian audience when Harlequin asked me for the full manuscript.
  12. My husband calls me a “coffee snob”.  I love good, rich, fresh ground, whole bean coffee.  The funny thing about that is that I grew up on instant coffee, and LOVE having instant Tasters Choice at my parents’ house.
  13. I dress almost exclusively in skirts and dresses.  That is less of a modesty/religious issue and more of a broken tailbone/pants hurt issue.  But, because of other factors in my life, most people assume I don’t wear pants for religious reasons.
  14. I am a huge World War II buff.  I love that time period and post-war recovery in American history.
  15. I hate having to sleep.  It annoys me to lose that productive time during a 24-hour period.  I try to function on as little sleep as possible and usually am out of bed about 5AM.

That concludes Day 1 of Bloggity Bloggness!  I intentionally haven’t read ahead to see what I need to blog about every day, so tomorrow should be a surprise for both of us!
Hallee Bridgeman Precious Signature


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


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