Monday, March 26, 2012
Good Morning Glories!
I have created a link party for those of you who have written a post about the event and would like to link up! You can link up each post you have written. Thank you to all of you who have already written about your experience! I cannot wait to read your hearts this week! The big kids will be back in school and I may be able to sit at the computer without interruption. Just a little reminder that you must use a permalink to the actual post and not your blog address. That way readers will not have to search your blog for the specific posts.
Also I have more pictures that I will be adding to the last two posts I've written about the event and I am still planning to write about each of the girls ....I'm still trying to catch up and recover!
And just as a little side note....
I highly recommend loading up all of your laundry and hightailing it on over to the "laundromat" with a gazillion quarters in your pocket! I broke my own record this past week. 15 washers and 4 super duper heavy duty washers and 12 dryers! It is a powerful feeling to have all of that laundry going at the same time! Honestly.
Thank you again to each one of you for taking the time to write about it! The link party will be open until next Monday!
With A Grateful heart by Sibi at 9:25 AM
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
If you are feeling like you have an impossible situation this morning....this post is for you.
He is the One who specializes in the most impossible situations.
The worse our situations look the bigger the opportunity God has to show up and do what He does best.
And that is to create glorious impossibles.
This was the phrase I used over and over again in my talk at The Pearl Event.
It is the way I feel about my own life. My own testimony. My own relationship with the Lord.
It is the way that I feel about the love and grace that gave me my own immediate family.
It is the way that I feel about how a pearl is even formed in the first place.
How a pearl is actually the only gem formed, not mined and the only gem that comes forth through a
process and through a living creature.
It is also how I feel about The Pearl Event itself.
Nothing was more impossible in my own life. There really wasn't any way. There just wasn't.
Sometimes when God calls us to step out in faith and do what He has asked of us, it will not make
any sense. I repeat. It most likely will not make any sense.
He seems to specialize in showing up in the most impossible situations.
He responds to faith.....
When He spoke to my heart about the event and I finally agreed. Everything didn't just suddenly become easy and work out in my favor. I had to push through tremendous amounts of adversity. Most of which I've never shared here.
A lot of which seemed impossible.
The fact that He would trust me with anything at all seemed impossible enough all by itself.
This girl who has lived her entire life on the back side of the desert.
This girl who has zero connections.
Who doesn't have a famous husband or famous parents- or any parents for that matter, who can just use their realm of influence, or write a check, or call in a favor to make my little God dream come true.
There were not any pastors who supported this in my community.
Not this time. Not the last time.
They took forever and a day to respond or just didn't respond at all. Or laughed in my face -literally.
Blew me off. Or just made some hurtful comments.
There was not a planning team.
There was not a preparation team.
I had to push through some serious mountains. Serious obstacles.
I had to work with what I had.
And what God had given me was a husband with awesome faith and five faith- filled girls who all said yes to Him. Thank God for them.
Glory to His name.
I am not sure how I can ever properly thank Jane, Brittany, Sarah, Edie and Paige. How can I properly thank and show the depths of my gratitude to any of them including Brittany's husband for videotaping the event and helping with sound. And for Brittany's precious in laws- Jeff and Jenny Nelson who so graciously served as our worship team and also helped with sound. I am grateful for their prayers, their partnership, their time and attention to the event and all that God was doing. Their willingness to love and serve and sow into the hearts of these women who were coming by faith. I am grateful for each blog post and each time they shared about what God was doing with this little event that could. I am grateful for their willingness to pray and fast and partner with me for His purpose. They are true pearl girls....rare, unique, shaped, defined, over comers in every sense of the word and awesome women of faith.
There was not truckloads of money made readily available for this. Or any money for that matter.
Zero financial backing.
It was only by His grace, lots of faith and many prayers.
I just kept asking the Father.... over and over and over again.
Is this the place? Is this the number? How many seats? What do you want me to do Lord?
I remember signing lots of contracts.
And each time I would hold that contract up to the Father.
"This is seemingly impossible Lord.....but I love you and I trust you and this is Your event."
You may remember that all of this was going on and my husband had been released from his job.
So now, there was absolutely no way I could make this work on my own.
If it didn't work.
If it failed....
We were all in. And there was no income.
I can remember my husband's faith. His mountain moving faith. His faith in God and His faith in me.
I am eternally grateful to this precious man. He is a guys guy. He is football and golf. Steak and potatoes.
I'm sure he never dreamed he would be knee deep in pearls and women's events. God love him.
But he loves it all so much because I love it all so much.
He has tremendous faith and wanted this to happen as much as I did.
I can remember with each day, there were new things that needed to be done.
And it took huge amounts of faith to believe, try to organize it all and just keep pushing through.
At the same time I had to fight discouragement and despair like I have never fought it before.
Support was at a bare minimum.
I can remember calling my sister and bursting into tears.
Telling her I couldn't take it anymore.
Telling her this wasn't fair. Hello County and State.
Telling her maybe God didn't want me to do this.
That maybe I just didn't hear Him correctly.
It shouldn't be THIS hard. But giving birth is hard, isn't it?
And on top of that it was a huge risk.
And we weren't in a position for any risks. But giving birth is risky, isn't it?
I needed definite. I needed a sure thing. I needed God to part the red sea and work it all out for me.
But if that were the case, we wouldn't need faith.
And we need faith to do this beautiful life.
She said something along the lines of...
Sister! You MUST do this. You HAVE to do this. God wants you to do this. The women need this.
At the time I was so upset I can't remember everything. But I know in that moment. In my car. In the parking lot of Target. God used her to speak to me. To give me hope. To help me to push through. To bring forth confirmation. And I will be forever grateful for her love, faith and encouragement.
I pressed in and pressed on.....one day at a time.
A couple of weeks before the event a precious friend we call "Miss Donna" called and made a generous offer to pay for the flowers for the event. I was blown away by her heart to want to bless and sow into what God was doing. It meant the world to me. I told her she was the official Fairy Godmother of The Pearl Event. She is a giver, a lover of life and people and looks for opportunities to be a blessing....grateful me.
Then there was you.
Beautiful, glorious you.
You emailed. You commented on posts. You prayed. You bought tickets. You booked hotel rooms. You purchased flights and came from 16 different states. You drove a very long way. You left your babies to spend time alone with Him. You brought cards and gifts and jewelry and cookies. You sang and praised and worshipped Him. You laughed. You cried. You took pictures. You hugged and squealed along with us over this new baby that God had given birth to. You came all dressed up in your pearls and with hearts full of expectancy....
You blew me away with your generosity.
Your act of worship.
You blessed and loved and sowed and poured.
You traveled by planes and cars with family, friends, church ladies and even solo.
You came from all over TN, AL, KY, GA, NC, SC, AR, VA, WV, MD, NJ, OH, IO, MO, IL and FL.
I can't believe I was worried about whether or not you all would take a road trip. :)
Just look at you!! Gracious alive. You are amazing!
One of my deepest desires was that through this event God would draw ALL hearts unto Himself.
It is about the love of God. It is about relationship with the Father. It is about overcoming in life and giving God every ounce of glory. It is not about religion or a specific denomination....
It is not about the way in which we worship Him- but the One in whom we all worship.
These were the hearts represented that day based on registrations alone....
Baptist, Methodist, Church of God, Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Seventh Day Adventist, Nazarene, Coptic Orthodox, Born Again, Presbyterian, Non Denominational, Agnostic and 14 left blank.
Glory to His name......
He did it.
He gets every ounce of credit and glory and honor that is within me.
Thank you again to every single one of you.
To answer the question.....
Yes. We will be doing it again.
Yes. Next Spring. Because it's all about a new thing.
Yes. In Nashville. Because you girls just love Nashville.
Yes. In that glorious ballroom if we can arrange it.
Yes. Longer. Better. Lovelier. Sweeter. More Beautiful. More Pearls. More worship. More testimonies.
A weekend even, if He has His way.
Yes. Husbands will hopefully share next time.
Not because they are perfect. But because they can use their struggles. Their trials. Their faith that has been tested. Their hearts. In hopes of pointing others to the One who really does love perfectly.
They may share about covering the pearl during her process of becoming ...
During her process of discovering who it is God has called her to be.
How important that is. How much the pearl needs that. Longs for that. Desires that.
About how beautiful and special it is to Father a blended family- or a family at all.
How hard it can be. But how glorious all at the same time.
How to push through when your married to the wounded pearl.
But how remarkable it can turn out to be.
I will host a Mr. Linky party and you all can link up each post you've written about the event. More words and photographs soon sweet friends....I hope you enjoy these pictures for now.
Edie baked homemade chocolate chip cookies and then packaged them all up really cute and included the recipe for all of the women! Thank you Edie for blessing the women! You are amazing!
Sarah ordered these beautiful and delicious pearl topped cake dots for all of the attendees! Thank you so much Sarah for your extraordinary kindness! You can find CoCo cake dots here and she also ships!
Dan, is an incredible supporter to Paige and all four girls!
I am so thankful that he agreed to this! Thank you Dan for sharing your family with us!
Jeff and Jenny Nelson are Brittany's precious in laws! They are super talented producers and songwriters in Nashville. They blessed us and said yes to Him to be part of the worship team. Their spirits overflow with His love and goodness and it was a gift to have such tremendous talent there that day. You can find their work here: www.jeffnelsonproductions.com Thank you so much Jeff and Jenny!
The whole gang the morning of...
Brittany, Paige, Edie, Sibi, Sarah and Jane.
Here is my beautiful sister! There were lots of firsts with this event. My sister being there was one of them. She means everything to me. We share a testimony as sisters. We share a love of family and faith. She is the only person who knows my testimony first hand- because she lived through a lot of it with me. God has done glorious impossibles in our lives I am so thankful that through it all - He has kept the two of us together. To God be the glory.
She is someone very special to me. She has no idea the GIFT that she has been to so many people. I have never met such a pure heart in my life. She is real, genuine and sincere in the most refreshing way. Everyone needs a Cha Cha. Thank you sweet friend for helping me in such huge ways the night before the event. I cannot begin to tell you what it meant to me. Thank you for praying. Thank you for standing in the gap. Thank you for hanging pearls all night and untangling all the rebel pearls. I know that I know that I know that God has called you to that ministry..
So many rebel pearls waiting for your love.....
Meet my precious friend Jenny Beth!
Jenny Beth is a gifted interior designer and Mama to two precious ones. She JUST had a sweet baby boy. I repeat - just. Doesn't she look great? And not the least bit sleep deprived!
I'm pretty sure she is also a card carrying member of the smocked dress mafia just like me.
We love all the same things! Babies, family, all things home related and Him.
Love you sweet friend!
My beautiful friends and sisters Jane and Suzy!
This is sweet Amanda and her Mama whom I believe goes by Nonni!
You can read all about her precious family here.
Thank you girls for joining us! It was so wonderful to meet you two!
Beautiful Miss Donna
(The official Fairy God Mother Of The Pearl Event)
A huge thank you to Donna and also to her daughter Andrea who is my Macey's bestie and also like a daughter to me. I love that child like she is my own. She was beside herself to help and worked the other registration window for me and welcomed all of the ladies! I didn't get a picture of her the day of, but here are two of my favorite ones of her this past week while she was on spring break. Love you two!!
Two of my favorite pearl girls......Miss Donna and Andrea.
My new and very special friends, Debbie and Susan from Push Ministries in Illinois. Amazing, incredible women who demonstrate the love of God to single mothers in their area. They are such an inspiration and there is a blog post coming soon about what God is doing through them!
Thank you to my Macey girl. For loving me through my healing. For loving me in spite of being such a young mom who had to learn life the hard way and who failed miserably many times. Thank you for your encouragement and your support. Thank you for putting every single pearl on all of the programs and for registering all of the ladies for me- even though you are not a morning person. Thank you for the truckloads of grace you have shown me. For the laughter. For the unconditional love. For the hope you bring me. For being such an incredible daughter. For loving me in spite of it all baby girl. I am honored to call you my own. My beautiful first born gift.
Thank you to my precious husband, who spent many sleepless nights over this event, because I spent many sleepless nights over this event. Who encouraged. Supported. Prayed. Fasted and fought the good fight of faith with me to see this day come to pass. Who has stuck with me through my years of inner healing and overcoming mountains of adversity. When I would start to waiver, give up, give in and shrink back. There you were....a strong tower of mighty mountain moving faith. Unshakable. Steady. Full of relentless pursuit to help me give birth to this God dream inside the very fibers of my being. Thank you for it all sweet man.
No words big enough.
With A Grateful heart by Sibi at 1:25 PM
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
I am trying my best to piece together the first post but it is going to take me several posts to break it all down properly.
I told Paige that it was just layers of deliciousness.
Here is how I am feeling on the Tuesday morning after the big weekend!
Grateful and thankful and awestruck. Exhausted more than I have ever been in my entire life.
Overwhelmed that it finally happened and so appreciative to every, single one of you who spent the
weekend with us! You traveled from all over the United States! I was so excited to meet you all and
my heart is so grateful to you girls and to God because you all made it happen.
I am still in complete awe of Brittany, our worship leader and her sweet in- laws who blessed us with their incredible talent! Sarah, Jane, Paige and Edie blessed us over and over again sharing their hearts, their stories and their real life experiences.
We laughed out loud. We cried. We sat mesmerized, hanging on their words throughout the day.
They were so good I could barely stand it.
This was the first time any of them had ever done anything like this. Love how God orchestrates things..
I was SO PROUD of all of them. They brought the house down. One right after another.
I sat in tears most of the day:)
When I begin to pray about holding the second event, I felt Him leading me to reach out to certain women. I knew it would be different. But I wanted it to be Real. Authentic. Genuine and True.
I wanted the likability factor to be off the charts. I wanted the blog world to meet the real world. I wanted heart connections with bloggers, speakers, readers and attendees.
I really wanted to pull together real mama's, with real stories of faith , who happen to know in a very personal way, what it means to overcome.
Which is the heart of TPE.
When every single one of them said yes to Him, I nearly fainted.
When every single one of them showed up Friday night, I nearly fainted.
When every single one of them showed up Saturday morning, I nearly fainted.
You get the picture.
It was all very surreal for me.
I am still basking in the afterglow of all that He did through these brave women over the weekend.
It was an incredibly humbling weekend for me and my family. We are all still trying to wrap our hearts and minds around the magnitude of it all.
Of willingness and obedience.
Of faith in the midst of tremendous personal trial.
Of pushing through in spite of incredible odds.
Of the goodness and graciousness of our God.
Layers of deliciousness sweet friends.
I want to share some of the pictures of our time in the ballroom Friday night before the Squeal Fest.
Thank you to every one of you who prayed for us. For all of you who joined us.
What an honor to spend the weekend with you.
Our hearts are overflowing with gratitude.
More posts and lots of pictures coming this week.
I'll leave you with some of the pictures of the squeal fest before the scheduled squeal fest later on.
I will add a gazillion pictures later today to this post.
My little photo card isn't allowing me to upload any more at the moment!
When Big Daddy wheels in later maybe he can take a look at it for me.
Until then, big hug and a big thank you sweet friends.
With A Grateful heart by Sibi at 9:38 AM
Friday, March 9, 2012
We are in full speed here preparing and organizing and trying to pull it all together! I am asking for your continued prayers for all of the speakers, our worship team and their families, as well as for all of the precious women attending tonight and tomorrow. We are hopeful that God will be glorified in the most incredible ways this weekend.
Thank you so much to all of you who have walked this journey with us and for your many prayers and words of encouragement along the way. I cannot begin to tell you how much it has meant to me as well as Sarah, Jane, Paige, Edie and Brittany. We are so incredibly grateful to you all...
I'll do my best to get a post up this weekend once I can get myself together!
I wanted to answer a few questions today and hope that this helps!
Your tickets are attached to the email confirmation that you received the day your purchased your tickets.
Only the purchaser would have received the email. Print all tickets and just bring them with you tomorrow morning.
We will have a registration paper for all attendees to fill out the day of the event.
We have arranged a lower parking rate with Opryland for the day of the event only.
Please bring your parking ticket in with you to the event. We will give you a new ticket so you will
only pay 10.00 to park instead of 18.00.
Day Of Event:
We are planning to start promptly at 9:00. Registration and check-in begins at 8:30.
Seating is open/general admission.
There are reserved seats for speakers and worship team only.
You can wear whatever you feel comfortable in.
You are welcome to bring your camera.
There will be a wonderful book store available with lots of resources for you to purchase
right outside the ballroom.
We will also have tables set up with Paige's Noonday collection and Brittany's CD available for purchase.
We will break for lunch around 12:00 until 1:00 and everyone is on their own for lunch in the hotel.
We are gathering in the Magnolia Ballroom tomorrow.
We will give you a program upon arrival but here is a quick rundown of the schedule.
Praise and Worship- Brittany
First Talk- Sarah
Praise and Worship- Brittany
Time of Prayer and Ministry
You can follow along as the weekend plays out on Twitter. Use the hashtag #thepearlevent
Meet and Greet (Hug and Squeal)
Squeal Fest is tonight from 7:30 until 9:30 p.m. in The Conservatory Bar inside The Opryland Hotel.
Everyone is on their own for whatever you would like to drink.
You can wear whatever you feel comfortable in!
Cannot wait to see you all tonight!
I am before Him today praying that He would be glorified in every possible way this weekend.
I cannot believe this is finally happening.
With A Grateful heart by Sibi at 7:03 AM