Marriage

Obey: a Four-Letter-Word

OBEY. It’s a four-letter word—at least, that’s how I think of it. I associate this word with punishment, negative emotions, consequences, rigidity, and legalism. The word itself makes me cringe at times.  It feels autocratic and one-sided, as in a command that also means, “Do what I say.” The word itself feels cold and authoritative. […]

The Forsaken Remains

Heartbeats are hard to hold in the palm of my hand when they are new and slippery and never stay in one place. But here they are, just out of their plastic wrap, not a fingerprint mark on their surface, brought to life by the warmth of blood beneath my skin. Such innocence. Such amazement. […]

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.” […]

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 […]

Pandemic Prayer: Protect This Marriage

We’re entering week seven of shelter-in-place here in Massachusetts. COVID-19 has hit us hard. The direct effects are visible in the obit section of the city paper (all 21 pages!) but also in the everyday lives of men, women, and children whose worlds have been turned upside down. My husband and I do pastoral care […]