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Labor of Love Make a Pearl

Our life stages are unique, Kathy enjoys sharing her thoughts and stages through her writing and looks forward to learning about yours.

Labors of Love, Take Time

A Labor of Love takes time; after Thirty years, I think we have something to share! While thirty is not the longest of wedding anniversaries, and others have surpassed it, this milestone remains an accomplishment of compassionate compromise and our forever love story.

Webster defines a Labor of Love as a voluntary undertaking or performance without considering any benefit or reward. — I find this an accurate description of a long-standing work, such as a thirty-year marriage. So how do we make pearls from invading parasites? You do it by forming a gem of a relationship. Read on for tips thirty years in the making!

Then & Now


Pearls in The Shell

How awe-inspiring, the thirtieth wedding anniversary symbol is a pearl, a gem quite fitting for this reflection? A pearl comes in many shades, sizes, and lusters. It changes over time in its creation. A pearl forms when a grain of sand enters its shell is a myth. A more probable cause is a tiny organism or parasite that slips into the structure to disrupt the tissues. The surface then creates a pearl sac around the invader and releases a coating called “nacre” in this film, and layering defense develops over time into a magnificent pearl. After Thirty incredible years, our pearl is one to cherish.

How Pearls Form in Nature (Take a few minutes to view the video of this magnificent process!)

Poetry in Nature

I find it poetic that an oyster shell receives attack by the tiniest of an organism or parasite seeking destruction. A natural defense occurs when a covering encapsulates that intruder and layers it with a film that produces a firm and sought-after pearl. Can you see the beauty of how it compares to a steadfast relationship? Or is that a reach?

In a world where the longevity of pairing seems fleeting, nothing is further from the truth. I believe in love! The hard work, compromise, tenacity, iron sharpening, and growth can occur through adversity and incursion. This love is not fleeting unless people stop seeking a strong, dependable, and exquisite relationship gem.

Moving forward in a relationship, we can wait and allow a natural response of protection by bringing God into the center. Start with our shell and then extend that example to others. The best defense or covering is prayer, as it surrounds the intruders and parasites that seek to attack our core.

There is nothing better than when I am getting goofy, and my hubby takes me in his firm and nurturing arms and prays over me like an auctioneer. Funny, because he is a gentle giant, quiet and observant. Therefore this reactionary hug throws me into complete comforted surrender to prayer. Once the moment of adrenaline frustration passes, we can talk and pray together and let God do the rest. Much better than flipping out, I assure you. A practice we remind one another is one of our sweet success tools in the pinch of life!

Take a Leap in a Labor Of Love



I remember the day my heart fluttered with the first sight of him, and yes, he felt the same pitter-patter. I also recall the possible doubting of a forever love. Even though we had parents whose unions stood the test of time, I was questioning. Nonetheless, melding two ideas, goals, wants, desires, needs, gave way to impossibilities.

But, God gives a little hidden voice if you listen; it did not say what you might think? It didn’t say if it gets tough, you could give up. Nor did it say you are not worthy. It didn’t even say it would be unique and perfect! No, the voice said, JUMP!

Seriously, that is what I heard, JUMP! Now, of course, I wanted the fairy tale, but I did not believe in them. While I loved the Disney princess stories and never grew tired of a predictable Hallmark movie, I was more realistic. But after evaluating my ability to stand on my own two feet, believing that I could come what may, I decided to try love. Knowing there are fierce possibilities when you want to face life with someone. You hope they will work just as hard on this labor of love, and you jump together!

It's a Ride

To claim a long ride has not been a bit of a roller coaster is fictional! Instead, I will tell you; it's possible to fall in love with the same person year after year. It's a reality we won't always understand adult humans, no more than you get everything your cute pup or sweet baby does every single minute. They eat your shoes, pee on your clothes, and scream, cry or bark at nothing and everything. But, they cuddle and warm your heart with a smile, giggle, or cute stare.

We are irritated by an environment where zings and intruders come to destroy. Struggles and trials happen to good people. Thus people fuss, take things out on trusted loved ones, taking one another for granted. We tend to slip up, not doing the work necessary to keep a pearl developing within the shell.

A superb defense is possible once you learn to protect one another from the parasites that seek to intrude. Then, every day becomes one of polishing the gem and growing together. After doing the work, you realize the blessings even in a mess. You understand the value of what is, and that is darn awesome.

The distractions allow us to lose our way, and we forget respect. Especially when new to a relationship, or in the mid-seasons—holding fast to love despite our faults. Be careful not to overindulge in this practice of distraction, as the ability to change a harmful habit is daunting. Time out and self-care are essential, but distraction can lead to avoidance. Remember, God is the gem maker, and we continue as a work in progress. The goal is to shine as an example of His unfailing love. Unfortunately, we can be much grittier and abrasive than our awesome God. I suggest we show grace and keep on swimming in the right direction.

How to Form Pearls In Relationship

Thoughts on how to help that pearl continue to form and grow:

  • A cord of three is strong; keep God at the center of your marriage.

  • Relationships are worth the conversations, good, bad, or indifferent.

  • Take your prayer medicine together each day, even when it is hard to swallow and you don’t like the taste.

  • Forgive yourself, forgive each other, and keep seeking the covering and protective coating of the unfailing love of God.

  • When you mess up, you will own it and take a minute, allowing redirection!

  • Remember, it is not perfection you are going for, but rather gem-making! Gems take time; you have to allow artistry and patience to do good work.

  • Most importantly, the work is not enough; you must lean into your faith in the One who changes everything, which is the answer.
  • Always play and pray through the storms; the rainbow is in reach!

Praying for Our Pearls

We pray to love you more to love those within our path better. We humble ourselves to listen in the loudness for the guidance of God's will for our relationships. Allow us to deflect the parasites that seek to invade our shell and cover us as we seek to form a pearl in relationship with God! Would you please help us remain close to those seeking relationships and accountability? Allow our hearts to acquiesce, letting go of things gone by, and move our futures to the perfecting of a gem that will give God all the glory. Thank you, Lord, for the natural state of faith that no one can imprison, no matter the trial. As we lose ourselves in grace and mercy, grant us the strength to grow our pearls trusting the process of God's timing.

You can do all things through Christ, who gives you strength. Phil 4:13 Then it became louder, saying Ephesians 4:2: "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love" 1 Peter 4:8: "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." John 15:12: "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you."

© 2019 Kathy Henderson

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