We live and breathe and have our being within a place of oneship. We are tethered, man and woman, anchored to our Shoreline. This is good for our one vessel.

All the shared living within a place of oneness leaves us both hungry and full. Satisfied and longing. We come to the table hungry for grace. It is our fuel. It feeds and sustains us. We come to the table thirsty for mercy. It is our saving grace.

The mystery that began that day in 1988 continues to unfold. There has been unraveling and fraying, edges have been torn. There has been a temporary ripping and shredding of the very tapestry of our lives. Do not pull a thread. One woven in pain or joy, in hurt or sorrow or in pure delight. Each thread is a piece of our whole. And we are seeing that more clearly now.

Mystery reveals a nearly unfathomable sacred oneness. We feast on life together, hear the collective rumbles of our deep places crying out from a place of empty. And fullness. Feast and want. We have been fed, sustained by more than just enough. And we have feasted during times of abundance and plenty.

Like the silver of our greying hair, his and now mine, we are marked by thick threads of gratefulness which remind us. Help us recall the what has come before. For we have known want. And we have been broken. But we are wholly love.

The making of one, mending and repairing of the tapestry, is a fabric of a thousand threads. Some muted, some golden, some silver, some neon. We are covered in a blanket of Love, protected and held. The threads are storytellers of all that we are. All that we are becoming. Every strength and every weakness. Each one speaks of our total dependence. Each one, a thread of healing.

And of Love.

marriage

We share in the wrapping and covering up, the soothing and the nurturing. We pray together and hold out our cupped hands for more of Him. In oneship there are two. No there are three. And we find the weak one will be covered by the stronger one. The strong one will hold the cup of grace. And offer it in love.

It is all so simple. It is all so mysterious. It is all love.

We shift within our vessel, the weight must be balanced or we tip. We tip, and then we right our ship. Tipping and righting. The ebb and flow in the partnership of us.

Daily, there is an opportunity to hold the cup to the lip of the thirsty one, hold the loaf of bread to the one who is weak and in need. These are the days of raised cups, clinking and clanking in celebration. The wine is poured as we look back in gratitude and whisper, we are here by way of a hard fought love. These are the days of celebration.
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How do we fully grasp the intricacies of making a one life together, even after nearly thirty years? How do we grasp the continual binding and weaving that is happening at the hands of Love?

Our nightly breaking of bread which often includes vegetables from our garden, is an act of nurturing. A mutual refueling. A time to breathe deep over the day and celebrate what came before us individually and collectively. How could we feed our best us without this sacred time together?

These threads, added along the way, represent a decision, a moment, an act, words spoken, they provide a thickening, a strengthening of our fiber. Layer on layer. Love on love.

The cracks, when mended, have been mended with gold. The breaks repaired with staples, like the china plates we cherish, passed on from Granny Marshall, stapled back together so that they may continue to serve us. That staple is not hidden. It is seeable, a reminder that the china plate survived. It is a badge of honor to its resilience.

We are plates. We are tapestry. We are us, a me and a you. We are wobbly vessels in need of an anchor of grace and a bow line of mercy.

This is our marriage. This is our love story. This is our season of fullness and gratitude. Fed daily by the hand of the One. Mended by the Healer. Broken vessels, rich in love.

From 1 Corinthians 13, The Message (Eugene Peterson):

“So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up…
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.”

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Elizabeth Marshall / Posts / Blog
Elizabeth Wynne Marshall is a writer, poet, blogger. A lover of grace & the sea she spends her days living and writing out the beautiful ordinary in a life lived by the sea. Her words may be found at her writing home, elizabeth w. marshall, poetry & prose through a lens of grace. On twitter & instagram, she is @graceappears.
  • Spencer Marshall

    This is OH sooo good momma!! Your words are just too good and so is He and so is your love story. I am so thankful and full of joy when reading this. I just love love love, so so much.

    June 12th, 2017 10:16
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    • Elizabeth Marshall
      http://www.elizabethwmarshall.com

      Sweet one,
      Thank you for reading your momma’s heart and your momma’s words. I pray that your generation, as well as my own, finds the joy of a marraige which is cradled and held by His mercy and His grace. We are daily finding newness in our love. Skinned up knees and all, we are holding tight to our love. So much joy and love for my husband! What a treasure your Daddy is.

      June 12th, 2017 12:44
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  • Bronwyn Jardin
    http://Bronwyn%20Jardin

    Your testimony sounds so much like ours! Forty-two years in, with all the threads you speak of…still learning to gaze on some of those darker threads and see the Master’s hand in our tapestry. Thank you for this touchstone. May your marriage continue to be blessed. God is so good!

    June 12th, 2017 11:49
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    • Elizabeth Marshall
      http://www.elizabethwmarshall.com

      Happy 42 years and counting Bronwyn.♡ God is so good. To look back and see all the pieces and moments come together, to see them shaping us, changing us, refining us, and softening us. There is a richness in these years of life lived, now decades of learning about love and marriage. And partnership. Bless you. I am so glad you are here!

      June 12th, 2017 12:48
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  • Julie Pizzino

    Oh, how your words blessed me and expounded our own marriage of almost forty-nine years! Joy and sorrow, light and darkness, celebration and mourning, all are part of His weaving of our lives. We are planning our fiftieth anniversary trip with all of our children (and granddaughter), and I want to use some of your words to bless them. To quote the song, “It’s been mercy all the way.”

    June 13th, 2017 12:51
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    • Elizabeth W. Marshall
      http://www.elizabethwmarshall.com

      Dear Julie:

      Happy Anniversary to you. How humbled and honored am I that you would choose some of these words to share with your family. I am touched. Mercy all the way, yes. Thank you for leaving a note here at GraceTable. I am thrilled you are here. We can encourage each other by listening to each other’s stories and by sharing parts of our own. We are strengthened I believe in the listening. I hope your celebration is filled with JOY!!! And here’s to many more years of mercy and grace and love.

      June 22nd, 2017 7:55
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  • Mary
    Mary
    http://marybonner.net/

    Elizabeth, I loved this when I read it a few days ago. I came back to re-read it tonight. So beautiful. So true. So heart touching. Thank you for sharing. I celebrated 34 this year.

    June 21st, 2017 20:58
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    • Elizabeth W. Marshall
      http://www.elizabethwmarshall.com

      Mary, your words are a gift to me. Thank you friend. Happy anniversary to you. I love sitting next to you here in this community. We are stronger with each other, with each other’s stories, and with our listening ears one…as they say in pre-school (we called it nursery school). Thank you for speaking a word to me, one of encouragement. You buoy my spirits with your support. Let’s keep telling our stories and listening to each other in love. Happy 34th and may your 35th year be one of marvelous adventure, in love.

      June 22nd, 2017 7:58
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