Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Substance Of Things Hoped For

Photo taken by me at the beach!

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen ~ Hebrews 11:1

I love this picture. It just speaks of Him .
If you could see inside my heart right now this is what it would look like.
Full of faith .......the substance of things hoped for.

I am reaching way down deep inside for my "getting out of the boat" kind of faith and believing that when God calls He is faithful to provide. He did so in really beautiful ways last year and His hand was all over the first Pearl Event.  I am believing Him and trusting Him on a new level for the second one.

The website is live but is not finished as we are adding photos, testimonies and information daily. But I wanted to share the link with you and hopefully this will help give you a feel for what the event is like. Although I have no words to describe what it is actually like when you are sitting in the seat and His love just pours in a real and very tangible way. It's hard to describe. It's something you have to experience. It has nothing to do with me and everything to do with Him.  I am simply the vessel to share a testimony and arrange the place for you to meet with Him and He shows up. Just because you asked Him to. Just because He loves you more than you could ever imagine.

I share pieces of my story because He asked me to and because I know what it's like to search but not know what your searching for. To wonder. To question if He loves me? And if He did indeed love me, then why did this and this and this happen? Why did He allow those things? Because I have asked all of those questions and He answered me.

I share pieces of my story of living a life as a little girl, teenager and young woman with a history of abuse, neglect, rejection and abandonment, to name a few, in hopes that someone else will hear and know, down to her very core that she is not her circumstances and her circumstances do not define her. He defines her and Him alone. And if He did it for me, He will do it for you.

I share pieces of my story of a young girl who was called to be a Mother at the tender age of 18 years old and the story of 10 years of single motherhood and how I allowed some circumstances to keep me from a relationship with Him. Because I do not want anyone to feel like they are not worthy of a relationship with the Father.  You are worthy.....

I share pieces of my story about meeting my husband and my first experience with unconditional love and how he loved not only me, but my precious baby girl as well. I share because I want to encourage women who are single with children that God is a God of second chances (and third and fourth.....)
and that it is not over. I want to encourage those who are still waiting on a spouse, not to settle, but to wait on the one whom God has chosen for them.

I share pieces of my story and my struggle with forgiveness because I believe with all of my heart that  forgiveness will take years off your life and give you a freedom you've never known. It has also been one of the most difficult and deeply personal lessons I have ever had to learn and it is a common thread that we all struggle with. But He is the key that unlocks treasures on the other side once we have forgiven.

I share pieces of my story about my relationship with my own Mother, who has, many times in years past offered her permission for me to share at different conferences and women's events. I share out of a place of love and forgiveness just as I would want my oldest daughter to share about me and my mistakes when the Lord calls her to begin to speak and teach. And I know that day will come........
I do so because I believe the most attacked dynamic in a family is between Mothers and Daughters.

I share to say look at Him. If he brought me through all of this then He must have a purpose and a plan and if He did it for me, then He will do it for you as well.

Please join us!

It is a night of hope, faith, love and pearls............

Here is the link to the new website!  (requires flash)

Monday, April 19, 2010

It's Official!

The Delta area of  The Opryland Hotel

Okay. It's official. We have a date! We have a place! The contract is signed and I am praying that the Father would orchestrate every single detail of the event! I wanted to say thank you to each one of you who commented on the last post or who have emailed me about the event.  I appreciate your encouragement, prayers and support more than I could ever write about here. Please know that. It all means so much to me....

I will write another post by the end of the week with more information and details about the event, as well as a link to the new web-site.  We are still "working on it" or I am just a nervous wreck about pressing the "Go Live" button. I really wish one of you lived next door and I could just ask you to come over here and press the button for me. Pray for me :)

I wanted to share that this year we are charging a small ticket price and actually using a vendor to handle the tickets for the event. We hosted the event last year completely free and loved doing so and our heart was to do that again this year. But in reality, we just could not do that again and need to cover the costs.  I don't want that detail to keep anyone from attending who would really like to attend so if there is a need, please e-mail me and I will do everything I can to get you to the event! 

The second reason that we decided to use a ticket vendor was to bring order. I love order. Mainly because I have very little of it here with four children under the age of 7! And when I say order, I simply mean an organized way of keeping up with the Pearl Girls. 

Last year was a little hectic. I kept up with a list (by the grace of God) that went something like this.....

Suzy's hairdresser is attending.84
Now only Aunt Jane can attend- cancel Suzy.83
Suzy is attending now84
Mary Catherine's teacher is attending85
The friend of Aunt Jane that she used to work with can't make it 84

Can I just say how excited I was/still am that anyone wanted to attend? I wanted everyone to be there who wanted to be there.  I was amazed and thankful and humbled beyond words.  But I didn't do a very good job of keeping up with a list like that....and when you are giving a head count to a hotel, well you need a good list.  Hopefully this helps to explain the few changes and I will keep you posted as I have more information.

But here is what I have so far .....

The Pearl Event

 June 26th, 2010
      6:00 p.m.


Opryland Hotel 

(We will have a group rate for the hotel if anyone would like to stay the night and I will pass that information along as soon as I receive it. )

We also wanted to organize a blogger meet-up before the event! What do you think?  I know how exciting it is to meet your blogging buddies in person~ there is really nothing like it!  So since we are hosting in the South this year I decided that a "Sip and See" was in order. Only now I believe we are changing the name of that little gathering to a "Sip and Tweet" since so many of you are on Twitter now!

This Blessed Nest felt that it was a good idea to share with the blogging community who was planning to attend by listing everyone on a blog roll! I thought that was a great idea and that way you can all connect before hand. I haven't posted a blog roll in a very long time because I was worried that I would hurt someones feelings or leave someone off by mistake, but I just love the idea of a Pearl Girl blog roll so you have the opportunity to visit with one another before the event. 

Hopefully this helps with planning and such and I just want to say again,  thank you for everything. Please keep this special night in your prayers. We need every single one.

Have a beautiful and blessed week!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Double Strand

Good Morning Pearls! I wanted to write a post and let you know that we are busy working on the next Pearl Event! Or as my sweet friend Granny Smith Green  nicknamed it "The Double Strand" Pearl Event, which I just love given that this is The Pearl Event II!  We are still hashing out some of the details and there are a lot of them but I can tell you that it is going to be in June!

We are working on a website that will have all of the details and information about the event as well! I am praying that it will be up within a week or two with at least a couple of pages of information.

We are also gathering testimonies to share on one page of the web site titled Kind Words just so others will be able to get a feel for what the event will be like so if you are interested in sharing at all please send me an e-mail and thank you so much!

For those who would like to attend this time, we are heading south! And have decided on a location in Nashville! We weighed back and forth between Atlanta and Birmingham as well but felt Nashville would be the perfect spot after experiencing the Opryland Hotel during Blissdom! 

I am excited. Thankful. Excited. Nervous. Excited. Hopeful. Excited. Prayerful. Excited. Nervous. Excited. You probably get the idea.......

I wanted to ask you for your prayers sweet readers. Please pray that God would go before me and work out all the details. Please pray that I would be able to hear, know and understand every detail that He wants me to create on this special night. I don't want to miss it. Most importantly please pray that He would make a way for the women to attend whom He wants to attend. 

Thank you so much for your prayers and your support.

Means so much........

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter Goodness~ Take Three

                             A few of my favorite things to experience on Easter morning...........

Dressing my children

Tying the ribbon on my baby girls' bonnet

Fastening their new shoes

Wiggling little hands into a tiny pair of pearl gloves

Spending time together as a family

Watching their faces light up 

while sharing the story of Easter and all that it brings.

Catching priceless moments like this with my camera.....

and this

and this.

Attempting to get a picture of all the children together

And attempting to get a family photo

Then giving up and watching this unfold.....

and this......

and this.

Hope that you and your loved ones enjoyed a glorious Easter Sunday together too!

Easter Goodness~ Take Two

Easter weekend part two!  The babies woke up Easter morning with a trail of marshmallows from each of their rooms down the stairs and into the kitchen where the table was filled with lots of goodies. We do this every year! Last year it was a trail of Easter eggs. The kids just get beyond excited and I love every second of it! Their baskets are filled with a few toys and the rest of the goodies are things like Praise Baby DVDs , The story of Easter books, Jesus loves me ~ I can read books, and so on. We try to keep the focus on Him but include a few seasonal goodies too! I will write a separate post with links to the special Easter things I found this year and just some of the things I use here at home to help teach the children about Him.  

Ashton in action......

The bunny trail.....

These are Resurrection Eggs and served as the most wonderful teaching tool! The eggs are filled with props to offer a tangible way for children to understand why we celebrate Easter! 
I highly recommend these!

Here are a few of the treats we had over the weekend and no I absolutely did not make any of these! :)  I only wish I had that kind of time! But I thought they were so pretty and wanted to share them with you anyway! 

Yummy Carrot Sugar Cookies

Hot Cross Buns

Tiny Easter Egg Cakes!

We decided not to even attempt going out to eat this year and decided to order a ham and all the sides and enjoy the beautiful weather at home! It was much easier and we did not have to sit in a crowded restaurant for brunch and I did not have to spend the entire day cooking and cleaning in the kitchen. It was wonderful and I was so thankful! 

Here are a few pictures of the kiddies enjoying the beautiful weather we had on Sunday!

I will be back with part three and the sweetest pictures of the babies in their Easter outfits!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter Goodness~ Take One

My heart poured out this weekend.....
In gratitude, in thankfulness and in tremendous tenderness of spirit.

As I watched my oldest daughter and my youngest daughter together this weekend. It was if it never was ~the years between them. Eighteen to be exact. I was reminded how love knows no age. It has no address. It has no limits.  It is no respecter of persons.
Love just happens.....

 There isn't anything more rewarding as a parent than to watch your children love one another. Even though it isn't always like this, I continually pray for peace, love, joy and harmony over my children. I am so thankful that their hearts have been knit together- one for another. 

We had such a wonderful time watching each little one with their eggs.  

I relished in the moments and cherished every second .....

especially watching these chubby, little hands hunt Easter eggs for the very first time .

I have moments of this weekend permanently impressed upon my heart.

And glimpses of their childhood captured from behind my lens.

And a new sense of gratitude today........

I hope you each had a beautiful and blessed Easter weekend also! I took tons of pictures and will be posting parts two and three next.......

Friday, April 2, 2010

His Love

The living cross my daughter helped to make at school yesterday.

"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also RISEN, who is even at the right hand of the God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: For your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of the Lord which is Christ Jesus our Lord." ~ Romans 8: 31-39

This is one of my favorite scriptures. It speaks so clearly about His love for us. About how there isn't anything in this world or anyone who can separate us from His love for us.  Unlike earthly parents- He will never pull away His love if we disappoint Him.  His love is completely and totally unconditional.

It is the truest and purest form of love we could ever know.  His love is perfect.

It is the greatest gift ever given.

The greatest story ever told.

And yet there are so many of us who have no idea just how much He loves us.

We go through much of our life without any idea.

Without any knowledge.

Without ever experiencing it.

Without ever receiving it.

Without anyone ever demonstrating it.

Sometimes because we are angry with Him.

Sometimes because we believe that He is angry with us.

But He is not angry with us.

He is a loving Father who desires us and longs for a relationship with each one of us.

He loves us and wants more than anything in the world to be reconciled with each and every one of us.

No matter what our life looks like. He loves us. 

No matter what we have been through. He loves us.

No matter what we have done. He loves us.

No matter what we have left undone. He loves us.

He waits each day for us. 

For that relationship. That fellowship. That intimacy. That sweet communion.

He longs for it. 

This Easter if you have never experienced the love of the Father I invite you to do so.

I promise you will not walk away disappointed. 

I would ask you to invite Him into your heart and into your life- even now sweet friend.

He knows it all and will scoop you up into His loving arms and pour out the most precious love you have ever known the very second you ask Him to. He is the most incredible Father.

And He offers us the most beautiful gift in the world this glorious Easter weekend......

May you receive it.

May you treasure it.

And may you never, ever be the same,  In Jesus name.