Family

The Hope of Remembering

In art class one day, I was attempting to paint a landscape with oil colors. I couldn’t get a particular area just right. It seemed off. I began to pull my canvas off the easel when my teacher stopped me. “What are you doing, Paula Frances?” “I’m going to start over. It doesn’t look right.” […]

Happy, Happy Christmas?

Listen to Ingrid Michaelson’s “Happy, Happy Christmas” here. “Happy, Happy Christmas” There’s something about this time of the year It’s always so dark out and you’re never here But I hear the whispers inside of the snow Live well and let go Happy, happy Christmas Love the ones who love you (too) They say time […]

Her Liberating Love Song

Mary’s Song  And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord      and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,  for he has been mindful     of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed,      for the Mighty One has done great things for me—     holy is his name. […]

Melancholy and Hope

The air was crisp with a chill and I breathed in deep the smell of a new season as I wheeled the grocery cart to my car. Fall always smells a little like nostalgia and new beginnings woven together, doesn’t it? Melancholy and hope together in one breath. Being the hostess for holiday meals is […]

Living in Memories

My husband no longer lives in the present with me. I don’t argue with him anymore as he prods me to remember the vivid details of a story he is telling. I engage with him and smile instead, building up our history even if it’s only in his head. In 2018, at the age of […]

How Looking Back Can Help Us to Move Forward

Our histories play an important role in our marriages, particularly when storms are raging. The twenty-one years that my husband and I had together served as ballast to keep us from capsizing during a string of tragic losses. We remembered how God helped us to forgive each other during our broken engagement. We remembered how […]

Harbinger of Memories

It’s the leaves. They’re the harbinger of autumn and they’re already dotting my green lawn red. My girl, she picked one up last week and greeted it. “You’re not welcome here!” she stated matter of factly as she deposited it into the dumpster. It’s not that we don’t love fall, we do. Both of us. […]

Encoding. Storage. Retrieval. (For the women who came before and after me, who make me who I am.)

With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes! With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth. In the way of your […]

All That Remains

The two of them stand in the shadows—shoulder to shoulder, side by side. I gaze at their backsides, for their faces are fixed on the black and white images moving on the screen before them. I sense sadness in their shadows. I am very young, for as I reflect on the date it is November […]

Loosening My Grip

The klaxon sound of the motion detector alarm rouses me unceremoniously. My adrenaline is immediately pumping. I narrowly miss stepping on the dog in her little bed as I rush to get to mom’s bedroom. I need to reach her before she takes too many steps on her own. One night I didn’t make it […]

Untangled

My mom has a particular story about me that she likes to tell: As she was doing dishes in our kitchen, she looked out the window and saw me in the backyard trying to catch frogs and kiss them. While it’s rather cute to think of a porcelain-white toddler with black curls and thick baby […]

When You Know, Deep in Your Know: Discernment

But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use, have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil; Hebrews 5:14 KJV Discernment is my gift. I know things. I was described as mannish or grown as a child; things that should not have been my […]