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 can surpass 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. 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 luster. It changes over time in its creation. The fact that 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 seeking to disrupt the tissues. The surface then creates a pearl sac around the invader and releases a coating called “nacre” 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 iron, and growth can occur through adversity and incursion. This love is not fleeting unless people stop seeking a strong, dependable, and exquisite gem of a relationship.
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 extending that example to others. The best defense or covering is prayer, as it surrounds the intruders and parasites that seek to attack our core.
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 possible doubting of a forever love. I was questioning, even though we had parents whose unions stood the test of time. Nonetheless, melding two ideas, goals, wants, desires, needs, gave way to impossibilities.
But, God gives a little hidden voice if you are listening; 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 of a realist. But after evaluating my ability to stand on my own two feet, believing that I could come what may, I decide to try love. Knowing there are fierce possibilities when you want to face life with someone you hope will work as hard on a true 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. Any 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 irritate by an environment where zings and intruders come to steal and destroy. Struggles and trials happen to good people, and people fuss, take things out on trusted loved ones, even distract and take for granted not doing the work necessary to keep a pearl developing within the shell.
Once you learn to protect one another from the parasites that seek to intrude, a wonderful defense is possible. 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 great distractions allow us to lose our way, forgetting to respect one another when newer to a relationship or in the mid-seasons. Holding fast to the idea that those in a relationship with us will always love despite our faults. Be careful not to overindulge in this practice, though, as the ability to change a negative habit is daunting. 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. We can be much grittier and abrasive than our awesome God.
How to Form Pearls In Relationship
Thoughts on how to help that pearl continue to form and grow:
- A cord of three is not easily broken; keep God at the center of your marriage.
- Relationships are worth the conversations, good, bad, or indifferent.
- Take your medicine of prayer 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, and you will, own it and take a minute, allowing redirection!
- Remember, it is not perfect you are going for, but rather gem making! Gems take time; you have to allow some artistry and patience in doing 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.
Praying for Our Pearls
We pray to love you more so that we can 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 YOU! Please help us to 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
Kathy Henderson (author) from Pa on May 26, 2020:
Yes, this is key in a blessed and working marriage. Glad you stopped in to read.
Take care and wishing you many blessings.
Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on May 26, 2020:
To my way of thinking, you mentioned this key: "Forgive, yourself, forgive each other, and keep seeking the covering, and protective coating of the unfailing love of God."
Kathy Henderson (author) from Pa on April 14, 2020:
Thank you so much!
Writing about my love is never difficult. We have learned much together and share similar understandings of how we have grown up together.
We have placed an armor around us and it seems to work as we now complete the other's sentences.
Have a wonderful day
Shalini Jadhvani from India on April 13, 2020:
Wow! A beautiful write about love and faith. Keep writing.Best wishes.
Shalini Jadhvani from India on April 13, 2020:
Indeed, a beautiful write. Keep it up. Best wishes.
Kathy Henderson (author) from Pa on April 07, 2020:
Wow, 50 years that is fantastic.
thanks and God Bless.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 06, 2020:
Congratulations on your 30 years of marriage. Later this year we celebrate our 50th. Amazing how time flies! I like your analogy of the pearl and labor of love.
Kathy on April 03, 2020:
This was a milestone year for sure. Thank you for your sweet thoughts.
OLUSEGUN from NIGERIA on March 27, 2020:
Happy Wedding Anniversary. Wishing you experience more of God's Love in Jesus name. Amen.
Kathy Henderson (author) from Pa on January 01, 2020:
Umesh Chandra Bhatt - Thank you for the sweet comment & Happy Near Year 2020, may it bring you much happiness and joy.
Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 19, 2019:
Nice article. Well written. Thanks.
Kathy Henderson (author) from Pa on December 10, 2019:
Thanks for taking the time to read our story. Have a blessed day!
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 10, 2019:
So this is the second time I've tried to comment...I'll make it quick this time...loved this article and Happy Thirty Years to you both.
Kathy Henderson (author) from Pa on December 09, 2019:
Thank you for your sweet comments. There is nothing I would rather share than the story of the forever love God's grace has gifted. Life has thrown other challenges our way, however, we know a pearl can come from anything. May we all find the pearls from the parasites of life. Wishing you all the best!
BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on December 09, 2019:
I just love this article.
It is so refreshing to hear you say you heard the word "jump".
Then you took the leap of faith.
Your references to God make this article absolutely beautiful.
It's wonderful to know there is hope for all of us.
So happy you have found your pearl.
Thanks for sharing.
Kathy Henderson (author) from Pa on November 23, 2019:
Thank you for the sweet comment, wishing you blessings also.
Abitha from Chennai, Tamilnadu on October 30, 2019:
Hearty Congratulations on your thirty years of togetherness. Lovely insights on nurturing a relationship. Stay blessed and more power to you.
Kathy Henderson (author) from Pa on September 23, 2019:
Jumping is very much the first step, and God takes over after that. Sweet comment, I appreciate you taking time to read and share.
Becky on September 23, 2019:
Absolutely amazing insight and how you brought this all together. Thank you for sharing your life and happiness. Sometimes we do just need to jump and that is what faith is about. Stepping/ jumping into the unknown especially if you cannot see what you are supposed to be doing or where to go.