Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Leaping From The Puddle To The Pond

I wrote a post last year titled Courage Creates Change.

Today, I am repeating those words over and over again within my own heart.

Two of my favorite definitions of courage found through an online dictionary are: "The ability to do something that frightens one." And this one: "Strength in the face of pain or grief."

Both of those definitions perfectly describe my heart right now.

I also love Joyce Meyer's famous quote "Do It Afraid."

I am venturing out into a couple of new things and I am doing my best just to have courage and leap :)

The courage to leap from the puddle to the pond can only come from Him.

I've always been comfortable in the puddle. The pond was reserved for other people.

The puddle always felt small and safe and exactly where I belonged.

The pond was for experts and folks with tremendous influence and vast connections, oodles of money and fifty degrees hanging on the wall.

But God.

He whispers ideas and creativity and encouragement in the midnight hour.

He leads and gently prompts and guides us if we will allow Him to.

He reminds us that our gift will make room for us.

Hopefully His voice becomes louder than the voice of fear.

By His grace, I am almost finished with the new website.

It will be small and simple with information about the events and answers to questions, etc.

The other special part of the site enables me the ability to offer a small online shop.

I have been working on this behind the scenes for some time now. This is not my first attempt at this little adventure. In 2000, before there were blogs or really even many online shops. My sweet husband wrote code and built a website and online shop from scratch while I was busy at market in NYC picking out gifts and goodies to sell. It was all very exciting and I truly loved it but we didn't have
the sales, traffic, etc. to keep it going for the long haul.

I thought that little dream was tucked away for good. But He had other plans...

It will start out small and we will just see what God does. :)  Courage to leap.

I have five years worth of blog posts that will be used in the creating of encouraging prints, gifts, etc.

(The ones that you all have most connected with in some way.)

Just a few to start.

Encouraging words to bring hope.....this I love.  

In other exciting news,

By His unimaginable goodness and grace, I was recently contacted by two different past Pearl Event attendees to bring this event to their church community in the fall of this year.

Some days there are just no words big enough to thank Him. God is just so good.

And I took a huge leap into the pond of courage and said Yes.

Grateful for courage.

Hoping to share details about the new site and new online shop soon!

Happy Weekend to you sweet friends!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Just In Case You Think It's Over

One of the biggest reasons I am so passionate about creating Pearl Events is this one little word.


Because hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.  Proverbs 13:12

And you would not believe how many of us are walking around feeling utterly hopeless.

And many of us are walking around feeling hopeless about a number of things.

And The Pearl Event represents hope.

I can remember one of the absolute most painful times in my life was the first time I carried Macey into 
a new place by myself~ our new home~ a small trailer in a really bad part of town. And although I was grateful for the place,  I was absolutely terrified and felt every emotion under the sun.

I can remember holding her ~ just a baby and just weeping.

The kind, where there isn't a single sound ~ just tears.

I felt like a complete failure. And I also felt like damaged goods.

I can remember trying to get my mind around the fact that I was a single mother and there wasn't 
a long line of wonderful men waiting to marry a woman who had a child of her own.

I decided that it was over .

The dream of marrying someone incredible and having a big family of my own.  Over.

This was my punishment from God, or so I thought. Isolation, rejection, abandonment and loneliness.

I wasn't sure if God loved me, I was almost certain that He didn't. But I truly believed He most definitely loved everyone else more than me.

I would go on to spend many, and I mean many, extremely difficult and painful years and would walk through untold trials and extreme hardships.

Pain on top of pain.

For years I was so hurt and angry that these pieces were what made up my testimony.

I felt cheated, in a way, in life.

And although my daughter was a gift I did not deserve then, nor do I now, and although I loved her with a supernatural love, my broken heart was convinced that my life and dreams were over.

And no one told me any different.

For the first almost 28 years of my life, I walked through heartbreaking things that people make movies and write books about.

But God.

Those two words changed my life sweet friends.

And maybe you need to hear those two words today....

I was reminded of all of this yesterday as so many celebrated Valentine's Day.

As I was wrapping my husband's gift,  ( a framed page out of my journal from 1998 where I told the Lord that this man was the one I wanted to keep forever.)

The Lord reminded me of the many Valentine's Days I'd spent solo or the ones where I'd walked through some really difficult circumstances.

I can remember comparing myself to all the married girls. Wondering what on earth they seemingly had that I didn't. I can remember working in an upscale retail store and watching the couples coming in to shop for outfits for every occasion under the sun and wondering if that would ever happen for me.

But God beautiful friends.

But God. 

I thought it was over. But God. I thought I was damaged goods. But God. I thought there wasn't a soul on earth who would ever love me and my precious baby girl too. But God. I thought I would never get married and have more children. But God.  I thought that there wasn't a man on this earth who could love me in spite of my painful past. But God. I thought that God didn't love me at all, sweet friends...

It turns out I was completely and totally wrong. And it turns out that the creator of the universe is absolutely wild about me~ and you too. As it turns out, He really does love me~ and you too. As it turns out,  His ways are not our ways. And that box that we try and place God in, the God Box...

The box where we placed all of our heartache and despair and hopelessness and dreams that never did come true and the box where we placed God right in there next to all of that heartbreak...

Well, He will bust right out of it.  Every. Single. Time.

He is no respecter of persons. He is not. If He did it for me. He will do it for you.

He says so in His word.

He loves you. He does. And there is Hope. There is.

I know that your circumstances and situations and maybe even some relationships may look bad right now. I know. I know how bad it hurts and how dark the days can be and how long the nights can be and I know the pain that can come through well meaning friends and some not so well meaning, when you are walking through the fire.

Oh but the fire.

It will burn up everything that needs to go.


Let it go.

Then trust God. Just trust Him.

And just for the record, getting married and having babies does not immediately equal living happily ever after.

It's just new fire.

It is beautiful and wonderful and amazing. And it is difficult and challenging and requires constant pressing down of self. It is ministry. Preferring the other with a heart of servitude.

Because God is always interested in the heart of the matter.

And walking through the fire in life, gets to the heart of the matter and it produces beauty, 
in our hearts and in our lives.

Married or single. Two pink lines or one. Giving birth or waiting in the fertility clinic.
Standing at the alter or signing the divorce papers. Depositing a check or waiting on payday.
With food overflowing in the pantry or waiting in line at the food pantry. Enjoying marital bliss or sitting in the marriage counselors office. Watching your friends get married, divorced and remarried or sitting in the pews solo through another ceremony.

It is not over.

Don't resist the fire.

Allow the Father to crush and press and push and unravel and get to the heart of the matter.

So that one day, you will stand and share with another person, somewhere, somehow, that the very things that the enemy intended to use to destroy you are the very things you stand on right now in order to point others to the Lord and to bring HOPE to a broken and hurting people.

This is why I created The Pearl Event....

And this is why, by God's beautiful grace, I can connect with almost any heart on almost any subject.

I can relate. I can connect. I get it. I understand. I've walked through and overcome more hardship than I could ever fill a book with, and still to this day, I am walking through some really tremendous fire.

But by His grace alone, I can stand and tell you about the goodness and the faithfulness of a God who truly has a purpose and a plan for your life- no matter what it looks like right now.

I praise Him every day for this huge testimony called my life.

I thought He was allowing me to be destroyed.

It turns out He was producing a pearl.

It is not over beautiful friends.

God's got this.  Your job is just to trust Him....

We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him. They are the people he called, because that was his plan. ~ Romans 8:28

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is the Father who is full of mercy and all comfort. He comforts us every time we have trouble, so when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:34

Don't ever forget kindness and truth. Wear them like a necklace (your pearls). Write them on your heart as if on a tablet. Then you will be respected and will please both God and people. Trust the Lord with all your heart, don't depend on your own understanding. Remember the Lord in all you do, and he will give you success.  ~ Proverbs 3:3-6

Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. And God's peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4: 6-7

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Little Update

Thank you to all of you for your encouraging comments, emails, phone calls and text messages!
I am so thankful to each and every one of you.  You girls are such encouragers.....thank you.

I am so looking forward to the chance to meet you all in real life in just a few weeks.

This event is something new, where I share in two or three sessions, a mini version of the event within a church community. 

We are still planning on The Pearl Event III, where we will prayerfully continue to expand this into an annual bloggers conference, with guest bloggers and speakers, etc.  This is the way the Lord seems to be leading us. We have already invited two speakers and are working on the many details that go on behind the scenes before we can announce it!

We have secured the domain name ~ thepearlevent.com and are working on the website.

There will be lots of information, pictures, and testimonies of past events, etc.

It should be ready to go live soon, hopefully.

It is incredibly exciting and at the same time a little frightening.

When the Lord calls you to do a new thing. Because He wants to do a new thing....

It feels a little like trying to find your way around in the dark...at least for me anyway.

I can push it aside and press it down and tell the Father that I just can't. I can offer my excuses....

Or I can present this and offer it~ this living, breathing expression of the Father's heart for His daughters and just simply trust Him.

I'm doing my best to trust and be obedient.  :)

The winner of the drawing from the last post is April...

April please email me at pearlsandgrace@gmail.com so that I can forward you the tickets!

My apologies for the delay in posting about it!

Thank you all again for your love, support , prayers and encouragement....

Means so much.