Tulum 2

Eye-to-Eye in Marriage

Tulum 2

Eye to Eye in Marriage

Stan and I are celebrating our 33rd Anniversary – I’m telling you, that came fast!     I believe strongly that marriage is ordained of God and is the basis for a strong, successful family; as well as vital for a thriving community and prosperous country.

 It is imperative for the wife and husband to maintain their individuality, while equally crucial to be companions with shared righteous goals.     My soon to be published novel, “A Mother’s Shadow” addresses marriage and I’m thrilled to share an excerpt:  Some years back, my husband and I went to Tulum, Mexico. In one area, the ancient ruins have high walls on either side of a narrow path. These walls are comprised of chiseled and stacked rocks, which stand parallel to each other and flanking the constricted corridor. Interesting carvings are found atop the two facing walls, which resemble the faces of a man and a woman gazing at each other.    

A narrow path separates the sculptured man and woman with just enough space for a person to walk between them. What if the couple had the ability to draw closer? Could the gap fade away, until they were literally eye-to-eye? What does it take for a man and his wife to close the gap and be one in purpose? To be one as a benefit to each other and to their family?      What sacrifice is required? Obviously, anything which is selfish or unholy; however, one should also contemplate what other vices or distractions draw spouses apart, emotionally and spiritually.

Consider a portion of The Screwtape Letters: A Devil’s Diabolical Advice for the Capturing of the Human Heart by C.S. Lewis. In the book, Screwtape, a high ranking authority under the devil, writes letters to his apprentice Wormwood, giving instructions on how to lure the patient he has been assigned (a human man) from the Enemy (God) to “their side.” Screwtape addresses one of his letters to Wormwood concerning the man’s relationship with his mother.

“Build up . . . in that house, a good settled habit of mutual annoyance: daily pinpricks. It is, no doubt, impossible to prevent his praying for his mother . . . . Make sure that they [his prayers] are always very ‘spiritual,’ that he is always concerned with the state of her soul and never with her rheumatism. Two advantages will follow. In the first place, his attention will be kept on what he regards as her sins, by which, with a little guidance from you, he can be induced to mean any of her actions, which are inconvenient or irritating to himself. Thus you can keep rubbing the wounds of the day a little sorer even while he is on his knees. . . . His ideas about her soul will be very crude and often erroneous, he will, in some degree, be praying for an imaginary person. I have had patients of my own so well in hand that they could be turned at a moment’s notice from impassioned prayer for a wife’s or son’s ‘soul’ to beating or insulting the real wife or son without qualm.”

“When two humans have lived together for many years, it usually happens that each has tones of voice and expressions of face which are almost unendurably irritating to the other. Work on that. Let him assume that she knows how annoying it is and does it to annoy, he will not (realize) the immense improbability of the assumption. And, of course, never let him suspect that he has tones and looks which similarly annoy her.”   

Couples quarrel, each supposing he or she is correct and justified, seldom choosing to focus on the mote in the other’s eye, while generally forgetting the beam in one’s own.     It is good to ask the following question: “Does this happen in my home?”

Unfortunately, for many, this is a daily occurrence and even considered normal. One should be on guard, however, as irritations, provocations, and self-interests can lead to the gradual and almost undetectable erosion of a marriage.     A person striving to be a model of all that is good, will want to make amends, heal hurts, and transform their own weaknesses into strengths for the sake of their loved ones.Tulum 1


I hope we will work in our marriages to forgive, (in cases of abuse, get all possible help from authorities) let go of disappointments and come closer to each other, until truly eye-to-eye.  To be one in purpose and goals in regards to raising resilient children who love God; while making our homes a place of peace, love and a refuge from the storms of life.  A home where the husband and wife can find comfort in the other,  each will work to be a happy and content spouse,  strive to be a trusted and loyal friend and buoy the other to meet another day of life’s battle. 

These are elements of an example we want our children to see, so they can emulate it in their own future families. As we strive, with clear focus and intent to make God a partner in our marriage, all else will fall into place and there will be unimaginable joy and love.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

For More Posts On This Topic:

A Mother’s Shadow’ a novel by Carrie Groneman (available on Amazon), click HERE

Why You Should Never Wear Someone Else's Nylons

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It just Never Works to Wear Someone Else’s Nylons

This is a story about nylons or as some call them pantyhose.   If you have never worn these before, they are sheer, close-fitting leg wear that usually cover from the waist to the toe.  They cover my glow-in-the dark skin, as well as many other imperfections – so I wear them. 
Years back after my fifth child was born, I was self-conscious about my so called figure, or you might say, my too much of a figure.  I would like to blame it on the fact that all five of my children came ‘through the window’ as we call cesarean births around our house, but many other women have c-sections, lots more babies and still somehow manage to look like models.
My mother happened to call one day when I was really beating myself up for having rolls of ‘baby fat’, that were not on the baby. I whined to her, ‘Why could I not have forty pound babies because then I would only have to lose five to ten pounds’.
Moms are always vigilant to try to ‘fix’ everything, so she offered me some very special nylons. She would purchase a pair for me like hers and put them in the mail immediately.  These were ‘magic’ and would suck it all in, though I kept wondering where it all went; it is a law of physics you know that matter has to go somewhere.
The package came in the mail containing the almost supernatural pantyhose. I decided I would wear them to church the next Sunday, hoping this would solve my issue of wanting to continually compare myself to every other woman in the building (yes, I am shallow and very human).
Sunday morning came, and taking the nylons out of the new packing they looked extremely small and those ‘magic’ nylons were most difficult to put on. I pulled and tugged and stuffed ‘matter’ into and around anywhere I could, struggling just to get those things up to my waist. I called mom to ask her if this was how they were supposed to be. She reassured me that yes, that’s why they were ‘magic’ and would make me look amazing.
Off to church.
I happened to have the job of conducting a group of adults and children through the music time, talks and so forth. About half way through the allotted time, I walked to the front to announce more of the outlined program as I had been assigned to do. As I stood in front of the group, all of the sudden I felt a snap of sorts and realized the ‘magic’ nylons had lost their battle with my ‘matter’ and the waist band was now at my thighs! I knew I could not move, much less sit down again, so as the chorister came forward to lead the group in singing and the pianist began to play, I sidled over to the piano and stood with my knees tightly together, while also trying to keep my feet apart to appear natural looking, terrified anyone would realize my nylons were threatening to come all the way down to my ankles!
Next, time for the talks. By now everyone was looking at me, some with a bit of confusion and some with a bit of annoyance that I never sat or moved from the piano which was towards the back of the room, even when I announced the next item on the agenda. I did not know the hands on the clock could freeze for time.
Mercifully the hour came to a close. I dismissed everyone with a forced smile and walking like a penguin, which I am sure got some laughs, as I waddled by and made my way to the restroom as quickly as I could to remove the dreadful pantyhose.
I called mom that night and asked her about her ‘magic’ nylons and telling her my story. She was laughing so hard she was crying. She kept saying over and over ‘they worked for me’.
The light bulb, dim as it is, went off in my head. My mom is maybe 5’ 2” and I am 5’ 10” and the pounds allowed for the size of nylons she brought me, were not near what I needed compared to what she needed.
From that day till now when I start to compare myself with someone else, I try remember ‘she just wears a different size of nylons’. All nylons perform the same function and can be useful, but distinctive brands, colors, types, etc. are necessary for different needs. We all have the capacity to love, nurture, help, encourage, do good works and serve, just maybe in a way that is unique and wonderful to us.
With all my heart I believe we are all here at this time for a very special purpose. It is our goal to find what we need to learn and how to be better, while remembering that we wear nylons that fit our situation, circumstances and life at the moment. No one is the same, nor meant to be. Let’s embrace our exceptional and irreplaceable personalities and be a bit better today than yesterday.
Copy­right Car­rie Grone­man, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013
Rec­og­nize a bless­ing and be a bless­ing today