Wednesday, February 29, 2012
I wanted to let you know that we have worked it out with the hotel to offer more seats without breaking the fire marshal code!
God is so good...
We are releasing tickets tonight and over the next couple of days! If you are on the wait list, you will receive an email notification and have 24 hours to purchase the ticket according to Eventbrite. If you decide to pass we will move on to the next name on the list...
There are 15 names on the list already so add your name quickly!
I am praying that some how He will make a way for all of you to attend who really want to!
We are planning a very informal meet up inside Opryland Hotel at a place called The Conservatory Bar on Friday night.
For those of you who want a big glass of sweet tea or lemonade or diet coke, they seem to have it all and it is big enough that we can have some room to squeal and hug and make a fuss over you all a little!
Blogger and Reader ~Meet and Greet ~ Sip and Tweet
Friday, March 9
7:30 until 9:30
The Conservatory Bar
Wear your pearls so we will know you are with us! :)
Let me know in the comments if you will be joining in on the fun!
All of the speakers will be there !
Praying for you all every day sweet friends. 8 more days!
With A Grateful heart by Sibi at 8:11 PM
Thursday, February 23, 2012
This is what I've called my set of hot rollers for years.
On days when I want Texas hair.
Or Holy hair.
Or Sunday School hair.
You know what they say "The bigger the hair the closer to God."
Or when "I want to be Southern Baptist Blonde." In color and style. I may have mentioned that...
He knew the exact shade.
With six children in this family, I don't get the chance to execute my Texas hair very often.
Most of the time I'm sporting the librarian. All pulled back in a tight bun at the nape of my neck.
But this isn't really a post about hair styles.....
It's more about those two little words at the top of this page.
I felt led to write about it just in case anyone attending The Pearl Event is worried that some of that
holy roller business is going to be going on from the front of the room.
The type of stuff that makes you feel "less than" as soon as they get started.
The type of stuff where teachers and speakers share about how perfect there life is.
How perfect their marriage is.
How holy and sanctified they are- and their marriage is.
How we are all going to hell if we don't do x,y and z.
It feels bad. Really bad.
Our heavenly Father is love. He is love personified. Love exemplified. He is love every which way including Sunday. He pours and woos and draws and calls us unto Himself....with L-O-V-E.
And that is all that should be coming from the front of any place talking about Jesus.
It is the LOVE of God that breaks every yoke....
So to ease any fears you may have, this event is going to be nothing but love, pearls and personal testimony.
And after I get done telling you about all the stuff God has brought me through- you are going to feel great about your own life. I promise.
I used to despise my testimony.
I refused to embrace it.
I wanted a new one. A different one. A better one.
I longed not to have the scarlet letter, so to speak, on my chest.
The girl who came from a broken home. The girl who was this or that. The girl who -----fill in the blank.
I wanted my testimony to be written in a happily ever after pink collection set.
But God had different plans.
In recent years I have become extremely grateful for my experiences in life.
For my chapters if you will.
When He prompts me to write a blog post...I draw from a deep well.
I have hundreds of crisis, experiences and unfortunate circumstances to draw from. :) Go Jesus.
I had to learn life the hard way and now I am grateful for my many life lessons.
Are there still pieces of me that long to be a Daddy's girl or a Mama's girl. Oh yes....
I was made to be somebody's girl.
But I'm His girl. His pearl. And that revelation alone has brought forth tremendous healing in my life.
Part of the reason it took me such a long time to realize this is I had some church experiences that left me feeling less than. I met some holy rollers. And I'm not talking about hot rollers this time.
I love the church and the Christian faith and God's people. So this is not meant to be offensive in the least. This is just one of my personal experiences and it must be for somebody because He isn't going to let me hit publish until I write it.
I remember one experience that kept me out of the church for quite some time. But worse than that-
It kept me far away from Him. Because I assumed that this woman in particular was right and if she "didn't know where to put me".......
Then a Holy God didn't either.
Many years ago as a young single mama, I somehow managed to scrape up the courage to attend sunday school.
This was huge for me.
I must have just gotten paid or something - always a good day for me- because I have no earthly idea how I had the confidence to do such a thing.
I filled out the forms and they handed me off to the chief Sunday School lady.
She walked me down one hall and then another and then stopped and looked at me and said in total disgust....
"I don't know where to put YOU!"
"You can't go into the married sunday school class because YOU are NOT married and you CANNOT go into the singles sunday school class because you are NOT single, you have a CHILD!"
I hated the church at that moment.
It crushed me.
To add salt to an open wound she decided it was BEST to go ahead and PUT me in the singles class.
Where the "lesson" that day was "What to wear to church and why".........
I wanted nothing to do with their Jesus.
Because if He really cared about what I had on then we were in big trouble.
And if they didn't know where to "put" me then I was certain He didn't either.
And I had enough problems already.
I spent years running from Him , then searching for Him and running again...
As God would have it....Eventually He wooed me unto Himself and I was able to see and feel and know and experience the wonder of His love.
And when you experience the real thing.....nothing can take that away from you.
Not a church lady. Not a holy roller. Not a church service. Not a friend or a family member.
Especially when it took you over half your life to find it in the first place.
So I am sharing these pieces with you today just to encourage you. To calm any fears you may have about the upcoming event. To confirm that this is nothing but love.....
God loves you so much He had me call Paige, Edie, Sarah, Jane and Brittany to be with you that day.
They are real life Steel Magnolia's. Steel Magnolia's who love Jesus and who love you....
I know every, single one of them and they absolutely exude the love of the Father.
There isn't a holy roller among us.
Come as you are. Wear whatever you want.
Paige and Edie wear cowboy boots so please, wear yours too.
Set all fears aside and know that you will be embraced. We are huggers and squealers....
We know where "to put you" sweet friends...and that is right smack in the midst of His love.
We are also planning to absolutely make a big 'ole southern fuss over every single one of you.
So brace yourself.
I am praying for you all and I'm praying that His love will absolutely saturate your hearts that day....
Two more weeks.
Love you so.....
With A Grateful heart by Sibi at 10:11 AM
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
It was late in the year of 2009 when I heard Him whisper it to me again.
The kind of whisper that you cannot deny.
Cannot stop thinking about.
You eat, breathe, sleep the whispered words.
It's time daughter. It's time to do the second Pearl Event.
I remember shaking my head.
I remember saying out loud....not yet Lord.
We had just moved across the country in the summer of 2009. New schools. A new place to live.
A husband who lived and worked in another state.
I argued with Him for days.
And then after a week or so of telling Him all the reasons that I couldn't do it again- not yet anyway.
I went to sleep that night and as I crawled into bed completely exhausted I said these exact words....
"I love you Lord....... but I can't."
The reason I remember everything so vividly is because after I spoke those words to my heavenly Father I went on to have the most incredible dream that night that I have ever had in my entire life. It was one of those dreams that changes your life. It was His way of speaking to me. Of ministering to me. Of helping me along and prodding this daughter of His who has sometimes had to fight her way through her own crisis of faith.
I want to share pieces of it. In hopes that it will bring encouragement for the journey that you are on.
I was on a field outside of some sort. There were lots of people there. As I walked across the field there was a person on each side of me walking with me.
I didn't know them.
I didn't recognize them.
But they were holding me.
Carrying me almost.
And they knew me.
They walked me up to a stage of some sort and I stood in the background behind the scenes where people were working and they were in a big hurry. Lots of urgency and scurrying around. There was lots of equipment and people with headsets on and such.
Someone motioned for me and I panicked.
I began to call for another person in my life- I began to tell all of these people working backstage to get this other person. I told them how wonderful she was and what a great job she would do.
They got the other person.
Afterwards I looked out to see all of the people leaving.
And just about that time someone came up and called me by name and asked for a picture. (Isaiah 43:1)
There was once again two people standing next to me. One on either side.
I was so confused.
When I woke up I couldn't move.
I couldn't shake it.
I couldn't forget it.
And so I began to ask the Lord about it....
Lord, what is this all about?
Daughter I have called you. I called you but you wouldn't come forth.
I've called you for such a time as this.
I've called you for this window.
There is a window here.
I was there. My spirit was there. The people who needed to hear my words were there.
But you wouldn't come forth.
Not me Lord.
Who were those people?
Who were those two people on either side of me, walking with me and standing next to me for the picture.
It was purpose and destiny daughter. It was purpose and destiny standing with you.
I'm sure I gasped and couldn't breathe at this point.....
But Lord, why was someone taking a picture? I don't understand what this is all about.
Purpose and Destiny carried you to your place.
To the window I have opened. Carried you to your season.
When you wouldn't come forth. Wouldn't obey my voice.
I had someone take a picture of you WITH purpose and destiny.
So you could look at it. Remember it. Be ever mindful of it.
I wanted you to have a picture to keep because you have never seen yourself WITH purpose or destiny......
Only the Lord could offer up a dream so beautiful. So healing. So full of hope that whatever this is....
This ministry. This Pearl Event. This desire and passion to see women set free of every single thing that would hold them back in life. This force within me that will not let up. This burden that will not allow me to sleep for very long. This heart that feels someone else's pain and cannot shake it.....
Only He could bring something forth from a life that thought it was so over.
Only He could take someone everyone else threw away and place a ministry inside what they deemed as garbage.
Glory to His name.
Sometimes (a lot of times) when God extends His hand and begins to prod us and lovingly push us out into what He has called us to do.....it will not make sense.
It most likely will not make any sense.
It does not make sense in my own life, with everything I am walking through right now, to do another Pearl Event.
He will orchestrate things on our behalf if we are willing and obedient.
There may not be very much support.
I would dare say that there may be hardly any...
It may just be you and Jesus.
But I want to encourage you to push through all of those things.
The things that do not make sense. The lack of support. The friends who may laugh or judge or roll their eyes at whatever IT is that you and the Father are up to...
Do it anyway.
Do it with fear and trembling.
Do it completely alone. Sell everything you own if you have to. And sometimes you may have to.
Be willing and obedient.
I love that scripture.
IF you are willing AND obedient you will eat the good of the land.
Notice how it does not say ....
If everything is perfect in your life THEN be willing and obedient.
If everyone is for you and lined up to help you THEN be willing and obedient.
If you have 10,000 dollars sitting in your savings account THEN be willing and obedient.
It just simply says this, "If you are willing and obedient you shall eat the good of the land." - Isaiah 1:19
I just want to encourage you today. I know every single one of you reading this have God dreams on the inside of you. Things so special, so sacred, so dear to your heart that you may not have ever even shared them with a single person.
You can set fear aside and push forth.
You can fulfill the call that God has on your life.
You can start over again no matter the circumstances.
You can do it alone. Create it alone. Execute it alone.
You do not have to have cheerleaders and people around you who support you.
God will eventually bring the right people at the right time... just begin.
You may get overwhelmed. Or frustrated. Or sad.
Keep going. Don't stop.
Keep trying. You will find your way. You have God guiding you and prompting you.
Stay close to Him and far away from naysayers.
You may have to remove yourself from a group of friends.
You may have to spend a lot of time alone.
That's okay too.
God's purpose and plans and promises will come to pass.
You will walk in life with purpose and destiny......
And He alone will get the glory.
By His immeasurable grace sweet friends....The Pearl Event II is sold out.
No words big enough today. Thank you for your many prayers......
With A Grateful heart by Sibi at 11:01 AM
Monday, February 20, 2012
Happy Monday to you all! I am in full swing here with all the planning and organizing and details.
I have prayed and asked for truckloads of more grace to enable me to do all that needs to be done!
There are just under 20 seats left as of this morning so there is still time for you to join us if you want to!
I also wanted to share our Worship Leader with you!
Brittany Nelson will be leading us that day and I am blown away by her willingness to serve.
She is grace in motion and has an incredible voice and a gift to lead others into worship that is just really, really beautiful. I have experienced it myself....
It is my pleasure to introduce you all to Brittany Nelson!
Brittany is a stay-at-home mom to three beautiful blessings and the wife of one amazing and encouraging man. She has been singing for as long as she can remember and has been leading worship for many years. Brittany is also a freelance makeup and hair artist who loves to bring out the God-given beauty in everyone she has the privilege to work with. It is her heart, in worship, to point people to the Father, Who loves them so much that He gave His only Son. She has come to realize that we can truly trust His goodness because He gave us the very best He had: Jesus. Her goals in life are to know more and more the love of God, love her family well, love others through her giftings, and worship with angels.
Can I tell you how grateful I am to God and to these five women?
No words to describe the depth of it all...
Walking with the Father through the planning of this event has stretched me and encouraged me.
I have clung to Him through this. I have asked Him about every, single piece of His event...
This isn't something out of a box.
This isn't planned or paid for by a cooperation or a church.
It is truly and only by His grace. It is all Him.
As I shared back in December......
These incredible and amazing women "are not professional and perfectly polished speakers"
They are "real women sharing real stories."
It is completely organic.
It is a living breathing expression of the Father's heart for His daughters.
There is still time to make plans to attend!
Also if you would like to partner with us by donation, the last day to contribute any amount
is Wednesday, Feb. 29 and still be included in the program.
You can contribute after that date but we are going to print on March 1 and would love to thank our sweet partners in the program.
Here is the link for tickets and donations.
Thank you to every single one of you who have taken the time to pray for God's blessing on this event. I am beyond grateful to you and just know that your prayers have carried me through a time that I will share about later on.
Glory to His name.
With A Grateful heart by Sibi at 9:13 AM
Saturday, February 11, 2012
If I could describe how I am feeling about getting to meet you all in real life at The Pearl Event II, this picture describes it perfectly.
I cannot wait for the chance to hug you all in person and hear your heart stories. To get the chance to meet and greet in real time....well, there really isn't anything like it.
Just so you know and can consider yourself warned, I'm a hugger and a squealer. So for those of you who are attending and who are not huggers, I apologize in advance and we can just shake hands and curtsy if you want. No worries! :)
I wish you all could be there.
I want so badly to make a way for each one of you to join us who really wants to! If you feel in your heart that you are supposed to be there and could join us if it were not for financial obligations, I would love for you to post about it and link up here. Maybe He will make a way through another blogger or reader!!
For those of you who would just like to bless someone else, please enjoy looking through the links and see if there is someone you could bless with an airline ticket, with miles, with a hotel room, a rental car, a ticket to the event or all of the above! Just email them directly. I know God is able to make a way where there seems to be no way.....Amen.
We are blessed to be a blessing and it is a gift to desire to look for opportunities and ways to bless someone else!
For those of you who are planning to attend and who have a blog, please link up as well, so that all of the speakers can stop by and visit and get to know you a little if we don't know you already! I will leave the linky up for a while to allow enough time for everyone to participate!
Four short weeks from today we will be there together! Counting down the days! There are 35 seats remaining as of this morning! I will be sharing a big post with more information, the flyer and the details about the blogger/reader meet up on Friday night, March 9th sometime this next week. So looking forward to it all!
With A Grateful heart by Sibi at 11:15 AM
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Good Morning! I wanted to thank you all so much for your encouragement and your kind words this week! We are so grateful for this new thing the Lord is doing in our lives and as we head into Spring, I am full of great anticipation and hope that maybe this is a turning point for our family.
So many new things.
Speaking of which, we survived the moving in day! It ended up taking me two days to get everything moved in and set up and styled for Valentine's Day! :) My Hubby helped me move furniture all day while listening to me talk about stuff like how the double faced satin ribbon needed to "cascade down off of the hang tags"......
I'm pretty sure he is looking forward to going to the gym today and lifting weights and doing man stuff.
(While secretly praying that God deliver him from all things girly - girl in this house!)
And guess how good God is?
Once I started moving in the two sweet ladies who own the store were so generous and gave me a second space for the next few weeks.
There was some twirling going on in Booth B-7 this week girls.:)
I wanted to leave you with a few IPhone pictures. They are not the greatest but I am grateful to have them since I failed to charge the battery for the big camera! I was too busy planning the store set and the floor move! :)
Here are a few pictures! More to come soon!
Thank you again for your prayers and your encouragement!
With A Grateful heart by Sibi at 8:55 AM
Monday, February 6, 2012
I remember the phone call like it was yesterday.
It came exactly 78 days ago this very morning.
My husband called from NYC to let me know that he had been released from his job, along with a group of others.
It wasn't the first time this had happened to us. Or the second. It is the nature of his business.
But it didn't make it any easier.
In one breath I was thanking God. I was rejoicing. I was celebrating. I was beside myself.
After two and half years almost, My husband was finally coming home.
And then in another breath, I was gripped with fear and felt panic strike at my heart.
I would see-saw between the two for weeks.
We did our best to dig deep into our faith and trust. The kind of trusting and holding on that comes when the rug has been jerked out from underneath you so many times you don't even know what it feels like to stand on solid ground.
We clung to Him. And we prayed. We celebrated that Daddy was home and we fought fear and the "what-if's" and the "this is not really happening to us...again" thoughts.
And we pressed on. With faith and tears and learning how to trust on a new level.
I've walked a few years in my faith to know that anytime you want to do something for God- the enemy will do everything he can to stop it.
And I had just worked out all the details to host the next Pearl Event.
I can remember my husband standing in the middle of the room looking at me.....
A man who has fought for everything he's ever received. He knows how to fight.
And he said these words. "Honey, we are still going to do The Pearl Event."
I can't tell you how that ministered to me. How it breathed life into me. How my mind tried to reason that we simply could not and my heart fell head over heels in love with him all over again.
Because when your man believes in your dreams, to the point of sacrificing to make sure they come to pass. Well, you want to marry him all over again.
And making sure The Pearl Event happens and Pearls and Grace Ministries continues is my number one dream.
My husband had also just heard a wonderful teaching from a church through a podcast and the title was called "Burn The Ships."
It was life changing.
The teaching talked about how sometimes God will "burn our ships" so to speak, so that we have no way to turn around and go back, or leave, or give up. We have to continue moving forward in a new direction.
For the last 78 days God has made it very clear that we are to move forward in a new direction.
One being The Pearl Event.
In the midst of all of this some other dreams inside my heart began to stir.
And we felt the Lord's prompting to move forward with those.
So for the last couple of months we've been busy creating and planning and holding the Lord's hand asking for wisdom and guidance.
In the meantime, I have finally been able to sleep for more than just a few hours each night. And apparently, getting some sleep will help flood your creativity with lots of ideas.
Mama's been busy.
So tomorrow, this former retail girl and "all things home" obsessed girl, who changes her furniture around every week and who has done this for years girl, this former party planner girl, former flower designer girl and long time girly-girl who still twirls on occasion, is opening her own tiny vintage home goods business.
Now I know some of you may be scratching your head and may be thinking to yourself, well you never even write about home stuff!
And to answer that, all I can say is that from day one I have devoted this blog to Him.
Most of the time writing about whatever He prompts me to write about. I usually pray before I write each post, and ask Him what He wants me to share.
And then together we write. I love writing with the Lord....
And I also have a few more dreams too....
Sometimes we have dreams and desires that just lie dormant for years.
Life gets in the way.
Circumstances and situations and marriage and babies and working 9 to 5 to pay the bills, takes priority above what we used to dream about doing.
Or sometimes we can even push our own dreams down deep inside our hearts, dismissing the very thing God has called us to do. Sometimes we can feel that since we do not have the certifications or degrees or someone's stamp of approval in whatever the field is, then we aren't really "qualified."
I have discovered that this is not always true.
I love this saying..."God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called."
Last week I signed a contract for three months, to rent out the sweetest, little space inside a wonderful store. When I asked the Lord about the time frame of the contract, He spoke these words to my heart....
This is the first trimester of something new I'm birthing through you.
Honey words. Healing words. Hopeful words.
I named it Vintage Grace. In fact, it is that very thing, that has held me during this time. And so many other times in my life.
So the name is really significant to me.
And just as a side note, apparently taking your man to the lumbar department of Home Depot and hauling around 2 x4's on a cart while carrying around his sixth child on your hip is a man's love language all by itself! Who knew?
I will also be launching, with lots of faith and my Canon 7D in tow, business and dream number two. I am leaping into photography as a business again, after closing that door years ago, to focus on growing our family.
So starting two new businesses and planning and producing The Pearl Event, all within the first three months of this year.
Apparently I'm pregnant ...
Truly expectant with dreams and business ideas and a special ministry to women.
It only took my husband losing his job for me to see the two pink lines....
Commit everything you do to the Lord, trust Him and He will help you. - Psalm 37:5
With A Grateful heart by Sibi at 11:36 AM