A wintry mix began mid-afternoon on Thursday: rain followed by sleet then snow within minutes. On Friday, I swept several inches off the north side deck and shoveled the upper half of the driveway before deciding against a walk to the mailbox. Too cold for Cato, too icy for me. Then Saturday’s freezing rain encased every exposed surface in ice. Keith and I tucked in with the dogs and watched the church service virtually on Sunday. 

Valentine’s Day.

Eighteen years ago, we met online during the Presidents’ Day blizzard: he snowbound in Alexandria, Virginia; I in Baltimore, Maryland. Two weeks later, we met in person. Whether virtually or in person, we have been “snowbound” together ever since.

A match made in heaven, yoked to Christ and to each other.


“Being married to our Savoir forms the foundational relationship of the life of the believer called to follow Christ. A marriage between believers offers the opportunity to extend this metaphor further—the central-most metaphor of the Bible—and so to provide another layer of its representation to a world much in need of such light.” Carolyn Weber, Sex and the City of God.

Being yoked in marriage means being known. It is only in being really known, in ways that we wish nobody ever knew, that we can ever really know love.” Ann Voskamp

Being known means being blessed. For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. Romans 14:7 God welcomes us and through Christ’s death, claims Lordship over our lives.

Being blessed means being loved and loving passionately. “Passionate love is far more than falling in love. Passion literally means to suffer —which means the old lovers are the most passionate of all.” Ann Voskamp

Yes, during the suffering times, I’ve been “known” to flirt with the idea that it might have been easier to live unyoked. To claim my life is my own. To do what I want. 

In the dark.

That’s when I remember: “It’s the old lovers who have passionately suffered long for each other, with each other, who have grown the most passionate companionate love of all. And it’s the suffering passionate, companionate love — the easy laughter and sure reliability and steadiness of companionship and friendship— that makes for the happiest love of all.” Ann Voskamp


After virtual church, Keith and I started a fire in the great room’s Tulikivi and made pizza for brunch. Later, while transferring firewood from the outside woodpile into the garage, we heard the shrubs and trees groan under the weight of snow and ice. We recognized the burden. With temperatures hovering around freezing, rain, ice, and gentle breezes will threaten life and limb again this afternoon. We know that pruning, too.

Yet, we remain snowbound together. Yoked. Known. Blessed with laughter and passionate love. As Ann Voskamp, we wonder: “How could I want anyone but you, because who could have made me who I am now but you?”


  1. vonettayoung

    I love this! What a delightful Valentine’s Day!

    • Carole Duff

      Thank you, Vonetta, and happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours!!

    • Carole Duff

      Thanks, Dorothy. Great to hear from you! -C.D.

  2. bigskybuckeye

    Beautiful message! God’s love brought you and Keith together . . . Amen! This past year has felt like being snowbound with my own bride, but God has used these moments to deepen our love. God’s peace!

    • Carole Duff

      Thank you, Richard. Isn’t it amazing how God works through us and our marriages?


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