Love Is a Million Little Actions

Meditations in Motion

Bill and I met our friend Al to run trails last week.

We got lost (of course), which added a mile or so to our intended route.

Al is famous for getting lost. He is also famous for telling his running partners “This is the last hill.” He has said it so often, no one any longer believes him.

He checked with me during the run to determine whether I believed him when he said it. I assured him that I did not. My optimism sometimes borders on gullibility, so if I don’t believe him, trust me, no one does.

We stopped several times to look at a trail map, but Al doesn’t wear his reading glasses to run, so he has difficulty even seeing the map. I am known for my lack of spacial intelligence and cannot translate lines on a map to the trails we are seeing in real life. Bill is the least familiar with the trail system we run on, so for him to look at the map in the middle of a run and determine, “We are here” is a stretch.

We are like the Three Stooges. Anyone listening to our conversation when we are trying to decide whether to turn left or right at an intersection would be in stitches.

It doesn’t really matter. The trails we run on are not really in the wilderness. We will eventually come to a place we recognize. Getting lost is not intimidating.

Long runs, now those are intimidating.

Meditations in Motion

I have written here about my struggles with long runs this spring. It was getting better. I was crying less and enjoying the runs more, then my dog Benji died, and my hard-won gains evaporated. I wound up sobbing into Bill’s already wet (85 degrees F and 90% humidity) shoulder on our last long run.

It was a soggy mess, both physically and emotionally.

I felt bad for Bill. His normally upbeat, enthusiastic running partner has disappeared and a shaky, sad, and insecure one has taken her place.

Then I tried putting myself in his shoes.

I might feel unsure of what to do for a struggling loved one. I might feel helpless, or worried, or troubled.

If Bill was struggling, however, would I be irritated, impatient, angry? No, and neither is he, I realized. That’s not the way love works.

Love does not seek its own gratification.

Take note, lovers, if the man (or woman) you are considering as a life partner is not giving, generous, and empathetic, if he or she sees you as a burden, or worse, an imposition, that’s not love.

It may be passion, but it’s not love.

Love is not only an emotion, it is an action. A million little actions.

Meditations in MOtion

Loving means caring. It means being there at 2:00 in the morning when you need to talk. It means protecting you, helping you when you are down, and celebrating with you when good things come your way.

Love means wanting the best for those you love, even if the best thing for them is not always the best thing for you.

Love is ministering to the sick, promoting justice, helping the needy. It is praying, teaching, encouraging, and believing.

Yes, love is believing, even when the odds are against you, even when reason tells you to be skeptical, even when hope is dim and fading.

Love is never giving up, not ever.

Love is making life a little more bearable. It is trusting, forgiving, respecting, building up, and influencing those we love to be their best selves.

Love is alive and love is loud.

Love is gentle and love is humble. It is genuine and patient and relentless and fierce. It is welcoming and inclusive and nurturing and redeeming and holy.

Love makes us vulnerable and that is a good thing. It shatters even the hardest heart’s brittle shell. It is transformation and rescue, enlightenment and grace.

Love Is a Million Little Actions

And love is keeping promises, even when they are not easy to keep. Especially when they are not easy to keep.

So I will keep doing long runs. 42 years ago next month, Bill and I made a promise to be there for each other in good times and in bad times.

Right now, that translates to fun trail runs and grueling long road runs.

Even if one of us does wind up with a soggy shoulder. Even if we do take some wrong turns now and then.

Because I trust in love.

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. – 1 Peter 4:8


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  1. 42 years, Laurie! That’s a fantastic achievement.
    You are right, so many little things that go into a healthy, solid relationship.
    It’s strange, but I very rarely cry. I’m more likely to be frustrated and irritated with everything and everyone around me – not easy to bear for my husband and family! 😳

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This beautiful tribute to love had me in tears. I was sobbing with you. Thank you for sharing your heart~the raw and the real. And for being an inspiration to me in both running, writing, and life. ❣

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dude! You NEED to get Gaia GPS. Not only does it have a ‘you are here’ arrow but it even tells you which way you’re facing on the trail. For my run this morning, I wanted to break try some new trails. I just ran. Eventually I looked at my phone to see how I could get back to my usual trails, but I was never lost, just in a new place. I’d like to add respect to your list of traits for a spouse. I’m constantly encountering others who don’t respect their spouse, and it makes me sick to my stomach.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I usually don’t care how long our runs take,. but the day I was writing about, we had to get back to drive for Meals on Wheels. I am checking out Gaia. Thanks for the tip. Respect is definitely something I should have included in the description.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ha, ha! I feel that! So many times my husband and I have argued about which way to turn…good times (not). And my trifocals are not always helpful for what I’m trying to read, so I understand the map issues. I’m glad it all worked out!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hope you’re curating and saving all of your posts for your grandchildren. What a treasure trove of wisdom for them πŸ™‚ Also, I giggled at the thought of the three of you trying to figure out the trail map!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful post Laurie – and yes true love is all of those things (although I let my husband go on his runs by himself – fortunately he enjoys the solitude and I don’t have to feel guilty). I’m so grateful that the young love we had has grown into something deeper and more fulfilling as the years (and struggles) have gone on – life with a caring and committed spouse is such a joy.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sending hugs….
    I’m glad you’ve got each other.
    Your first part made me smile. It’s a good thing I wasn’t with you for that would have made for even longer detours if I had tried to help.
    Love, light and glitter

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Laurie, beautiful reflection and it is so true – love is a million little actions. I would add … and every little action counts. May I be faithful to demonstrate my love for others with each action I take.

    PS – Sorry for your loss as our pets truly do demonstrate love to us.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Laurie,
    So true that love does cover a multitutde of sins. I am so thankful to have a husband who has never made me feel like a burden or an imposition. He’s been there when I’ve gone through major surgeries and was a loving caregiver. I try to repay or outlove him every day. Some days I succeed and others not so much, but we need to keep leaning in, learning, and trying.
    Bev xx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Happy Almost Anniversary to you two! A beautiful love letter, this is…. (and that’s a great shot of your awesome arm muscles). xo

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is a wonderful commentary on life partners easing one another’s burdens Laurie. Indeed a lifetime together is not all laughter and fun; I am glad you are there for each other now and along the trail of life. I did not realize it was 42 years. Congratulations in advance Laurie.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I appreciate your long-haul perspective so much, Laurie. Twenty-six years in, my husband and I are committed to one another, but middle age presents many opportunities to practice the kind of love that you describe so well. I hope your long runs eventually get easier … what a blessing to have a running partner like Bill to encourage you when life gets so heavy. Hugs, friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh, my gosh. There is a lump in my throat after reading this and tears stinging my eyes. What a post. It is interesting to me that the first hashtag is #trailrunning. This post may have started out about running a trail but it seems to me to be about soooo much more!! I commend, applaud, revere you guys for 42 years of running (marriage) together. I have been married more than once – which is very hard for me to acknowledge. It saddens me that I didn’t find my forever until I was middle-aged. And then when I did, he was the fellow least likely to really run with me! And yet, after 17 years together, we are beginning to get in a mile a day on track at the park.

    This has to be one of my favorite blog posts ever. I want to remember every word and pin it so that I can come back to it now and then.

    Thank you for touching my heart with your words and your love legacy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your kind words! Not every step of the almost-42-year run has been fun but I am lucky to have a good partner like Bill. Good for you for having the courage to find your Prince Charming when you were middle-aged! And for getting in the miles together now.


  14. Beautiful words Laurie. I understand and concur. We are fortunate to be coming up to 50 years since we met in October and our love has changed, and grown and become a tender place for each of us to be. We have not had child-free time like this in forever…mind you we miss them a bit (COVID) but we are really loving each other’s company without being hemmed in.

    Thank you so much for linking up for Life This Week. Next week, the optional prompt is “whatever you choose” because I am focussing on Head and Neck Cancer: 29/51 Your Choice. Mine is: World Head & Neck Cancer Day. 20.7.2020. Hope to see you there. Take care, Denyse.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Congratulations, Denyse. Love does change and evolve over the years, doesn’t it? We are very happy to be empty nesters too. I love our visits from the one son and 2 grandsons who live close by, but we do breathe a sigh of relief when they leave too! πŸ™‚

      Thank you for hosting. See you next week.


  15. I know I read this before, can’t believe I didn’t leave a comment. This post is a great example of one of many reasons I love your wiritng. If I had a wedding coming up, I would invite you to come and share this for the homily, or better yet, part of a prewedding session. (Forgive me if that doesn’t sound exciting) but this is the type of thing I focus on in both premarital counseling and wedding services. The wisdom of having been there. Blessings, Michele

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! Actually, it DOES sound exciting. Thank you, Michele. Telling young people who are just getting married what love really is, sounds like one of the most exciting things you could do!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m all Va’Klempt on this one… all the feels.
    Yep… that’s the thing about love – those soggy shoulders are a give & take through the years, right?
    This is just so beautiful

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I love this post, Laurie. I agree with all these manifestations of love. I heard a bit of a modern song recently about climbing every mountain and swimming every ocean for another and thought– “Nice sentiment. But practically? Are you going to listen and tune in to the other person? Attend to their needs even when it’s inconvenient?” Love is more the everyday attending to each other than the occasional grand dramatic gesture.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! I would think the same as you about the song, Barbara. I don’t need anyone to swim oceans or climb mountains for me. I think your questions point to a much better way to express love than those feats.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. That was truly beautiful, Laurie (and I hope Bill reads your blog!). You are so right.

    I would also say what I often say to people who’ve lost their beloved furkid: Benji loved you, too. He wants you to be happy. Of course you feel sad, and have to move through the grieving process, but ultimately know that he was — and still is — there for you, a loving presence.

    It’s funny how it’s both easier & harder when the person/furkid has had a good, long life. It’s harder because they were there with you & for you for so long — but it’s easier because you know that they lived a good, full life. The hardest losses — for me, and everyone is different, and there is no right or wrong way to grieve — have been the ones when they were taken too young.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Oh, this is a nice message about love and commitment, Laurie πŸ˜‰ And, I know if I were able to run a trail with you, we’d be in for a long journey because the odds are good we’d get horribly lost LOL I’m very spatially challenged, too…just saying.

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  20. What a beautiful description. I wistfully remember the beach trips and the romantic dates, but also the many soggy-shoulder moments that help complete the picture of a marriage. Thank you. 😜 For writing this on my wedding anniversary. I think I will go thank him for all these years. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I always wanted to be a runner, but I’m a walker instead. I try to bike with my husband, but he can go twice the distance I can. He is patient and returns home with me when I’ve had enough. That is love. Happy 42 years!

    Liked by 1 person

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