Friday, June 21, 2013

What Courage Looks Like

I wanted to share the incredible work of Coleen Verner who captured The Pearl Event so beautifully a few weeks ago. I will do my best to share my heart and experience of the day as well but hopefully Coleen's gorgeous photographs will give a better description! A huge thank you to Coleen for donating her time and her gifting to the event this year.

 I also wanted to thank one of my oldest and dearest friends, Maggie Pettinato. Maggie blessed us with the gorgeous peonies this year. Fifty stems of the most perfectly beautiful peonies you have ever seen in your life! Maggie has been a huge supporter of TPE since the very first event in March of 2009. She has been a prayer warrior for this event, for me and my family for years and I am just so incredibly grateful for her love, support and friendship. 

I love and adore you precious friend. 

I am so proud of Charity, Rachel and Cherish.

They were amazing.  I am still in awe of their brave hearts and heaps of courage.

 It is no easy thing to answer yes when the Father calls you to share your story or to step outside of your comfort zone and do something like this.

It also comes with a price

It will more than likely cost us something. Our time. Our courage. Our convenience. We have to be willing to push past our own fears and insecurities and even worries about other people and keep our heart and mind fixed on Him and His plan and purpose- even if we aren't sure about the outcome. 

Charity, Rachel and Cherish answered Him with such faith, even with fear and trembling. When He calls you to share your story, it is such an honor but requires so much courage. And especially when He calls you to the platform of public speaking. That is the number one fear for so many people! These precious women poured out their oil with such love and humility and honor to the Lord that I know without a doubt that He was so pleased with them.

No one would have guessed it was their first time sharing! I am so proud of each one of them! 

If you need a speaker for your next event, I would highly recommend any of these Pearl girls. 

Rachel and her sweet husband

Rachel shared during the first session and oh my word! This girl has such an anointing to breathe God's word into the hearts of His daughters. She has a beautiful testimony of His faithfulness and of overcoming some really difficult trials. She does not look like what she has walked through! She is absolutely radiant with God's love and His goodness. She is funny and smart and loves God's word with a passion! She is someone very special to me and I absolutely adore her.

I am so proud of you Rachel!  I was so blown away by His words through you. You are such a gift to so many and I know with all of my heart that God is going to call you to do this again and again. You are so meant to do this. His word is like a fire in your bones and it spills out of your heart with such power and grace that His daughters cannot help but want to know more. You are a gifted teacher beautiful friend! So, so proud of you. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for saying "yes" by faith and for your heart of humility. You are a such a treasure in a glorious earthen vessel and I am so grateful for you. 

This is Charity and her sweet hubby.

Cha Cha shared during the second session and I was so honored to sit and listen to this amazing woman of God share her story. I was so grateful to be able to see live and in living color, Father God moving through her in such a beautiful way. And to know how significant this moment was for her. To know the year she has had personally with the Lord and then to hear her share pieces of her story for the first time, just moved me to tears. Part of the thing she shared was what God has done in her marriage and in her own heart. Oh it ministered to every. single. woman. there. She was amazing. I am linking to the post she shared during some of her talk at The Pearl Event about a gift she gave her husband involving a suitcase.  So beautiful. You can read the post here. Charity also recently released her first ebook and I wanted to share that link with you all here as well. She is a gifted teacher and I know this book will bless you and your daughters so much! Growing Girls In Grace

Charity, I am so proud of you beautiful friend. 
So amazed by you and by God in and through you. 
This truly has been your "front row" year. 
You are called, anointed, healed and appointed for such a time as this. 
I cannot wait to see what else He has in store for you.
 I know that this is only the beginning. 
Thank you for your willing and obedient heart and for being such 
a faithful and encouraging friend to me. So very grateful for you.  

Cherish and her sweet husband.

Cherish shared during the third session. I knew that God was about to completely eliminate any and all preconceived notions about this beautiful vessel. She shared about people doing exactly that during her talk and she blew every, single one of us away. God blew us all away. Cherish emailed me her story earlier this year and I sat at the computer and bawled my eyes out. I could not believe she would trust me with such precious oil. And the Father whispered to me that He wanted her to share at The Pearl Event. I wasn't sure if she would agree to it. But He had already been preparing her heart that He was going to call her to share it publicly. Amazing God.  There wasn't a dry eye in the room. To look at her is to think she's had the perfect life. God has truly given her beauty for ashes. And she shared her ashes and gave God every ounce of glory. It is not my story to share here....but I will say that the price of her oil....oh my word. What a high price. Sometimes we think people are amazing and kind and wonderful because they've had such a great life. And we can think, well, I would be kind and amazing and wonderful too,  if I'd had that life! Sometimes we are so quick to judge without taking the time to really know someone. We may not always be able to see or  know what people have been through. Sometimes, actually many times, people are amazing because of their suffering and in spite of their suffering. That is certainly true with Cherish. I know how hard this was for her and I still cannot believe she said yes. She was so brave. So full of courage that day. This was the very first time she shared her God story publicly and it was incredible. She received a standing ovation y'all. Every single woman there stood up and honored her in return. It was one of the most beautiful moments at any Pearl Event ever. Glory to His name.

After the event, a precious heart shared with me that they had misjudged her before the event. That they looked at her and thought she most likely had lived a perfect life, etc.  They felt so convicted afterwards. God really did a work in their heart through Cherish and her story. 

At the end of her talk, the Lord asked me to call her husband up front and pray over the two of them. I could barely get through the prayer for the tears and flood of emotions I felt standing there. After three amazing women shared and poured out their hearts in that exact spot that day, I felt like I was standing on holy ground. I cannot wait to see how God is going to move through all three of these precious families in the future.

I am so incredibly proud of you. You have more courage in your heart than ten people put together. You are a tried, tested and true daughter of the King of Kings and His glory absolutely radiates through you in every possible way. I believe that He is going to platform you in the months to come and will eventually call you to share your story with the nations. Your beautiful and humble heart, as well as, your love for Him will serve you so well in the ministry that He is going to entrust to you and your husband. Thank you for saying yes and for being obedient to His call on your life. Many, many lives will be changed because of your incredible story. 

This is Michaela McLaird who led worship for us at the beginning of the event.  What a voice!!! I am such a huge fan of her work and her gifting. She blessed each and every one of us that morning.

This is Jessie Early on keyboard and Ben Helson on guitar. Incredibly gifted trio! Each one of them are such unique and gifted artists on their own but together they flowed together so beautifully. I was so honored to have them there with us that morning.  Thank you again to Michaela, Jessie and Ben! 

Sweet husbands capturing their wives at the event.

Here are the four of us before the event started. I love these girls so much!!

Please continue on with the following pictures and do your best to get past the giant, flowing, lime green tunic that I should not have worn:) It is not what I wanted to wear. The end. Overlook it the best you can. The three beauties standing next to me will hopefully make up for it! 

Cha Cha and beautiful Susie Harris who drove 8 hours in from out of town!
I was so delighted to meet her! Thank you Susie for coming such a long way to spend the day with us. You have no idea how much you blessed me that day. So grateful for you. 

Sweet blogger Amy from the Avery Family blog, also drove in from out of town! She is a precious, precious soul. So excited to finally meet her in person! 

This is my beautiful friend Jane Mathews, who spoke at the Pearl Event last year! Thank you for your love and prayers and support. Thank you for your willing heart to serve and help in so many ways.  I cannot tell you how much it meant to me. I am so grateful for your friendship and the fact that we share a passion for His kingdom makes our friendship so much sweeter.

Macey and dear friend Genine.

Another sweet friend Lindsay who also came in from out of town.

This is my precious friend Lori who came in from out of town too! 

This is sweet Michele who flew in from Maryland! I could not believe that she would take the time to attend again this year!!  She has been such a supporter of this event for years and such a source of encouragement to me over the years. So grateful to you Michele and I thank you for the many ways you bless me! 

This is  Angela from Love being a Nonny. She is someone very special to me and has been such a huge supporter of TPE and such a prayer warrior and encourager for me and my family for many years. I absolutely adore her and could not believe she flew in again this year. Thank you so much precious friend. I am so incredibly grateful to you and for you for so many reasons. 


Thank you to my precious friend Genine, who prayed and supported and encouraged and helped spread the word about this event. I cannot thank you enough for your love and support!!

Macey Girl, 

I cannot believe that you are mine. 

The fact that the Lord would entrust you to me is something that keeps my heart in a constant state of thanksgiving. The many ways in which you love me humbles me daily. The many ways in which you honor, support and encourage me keeps me on my knees with gratitude. When I look at you, I see His great love poured out to me in the form of a stunning beauty with a heart of gold.  You are my greatest measure of grace in this beautiful life, Macey.

I love you and absolutely adore you,  my sweet first born gift. 

To my precious Husband,

Only you and the Father know..... 
The width and the depth of the price of this ministry. You have paid the price along with me honey. You have truly suffered with. And every year, I cannot believe you are willing to create it again. Of all the ways you show me you love me, the creation of The Pearl Event speaks the loudest to me. There are no words to tell you, to even begin to communicate, how grateful I am for you. There isn't anyone else on earth who has labored and sown with me in life what you have. Only the Lord knows. You have layed your life down for this family and this ministry and I will never be able to thank you enough. The ways in which you have suffered and loved anyway, sown anyway, continued to bless anyway, in spite of so many things, absolutely leaves me awestruck. We have overcome so much and fought so hard for so much and especially for this event for His daughters, that I know there are amazing and incredible things to be released to us, so that we can release it to them. Thank you for not giving up and for not allowing me to give up. Thank you for showing me how to push ahead, no matter what. Thank you for the days and nights you helped and encouraged and listened and supported and prayed. Thank you for your wisdom and insight. Thank you for allowing your voice of support to be His voice to my weary heart, through many days and nights. Your love and support are one of God's most treasured gifts to me and I love you dearly. 

This is a special picture of a scripture and a promise that I have clung to for years. Joel 2:25.

The Lord tells us that He will restore the years the locusts have eaten and I am just so incredibly grateful. This is my sweet Mama who not only attended the event but supported it in every way. I have so much to share about this that I am saving all of this grace for another post. God is just so good....

Thank you Mama. No words big enough for the gratitude I feel for you and for what God has done.

I want to give God every ounce of glory and honor for this incredible day.
It is such a privilege and an honor to create the Pearl Event with Him every year. The fact that He would trust me with something so sacred and so special still leaves me completely wonderstruck. Each year, after the event, it takes me a good month to recover from the magnitude of how He has revealed His love and kindness with such glory and splendor. And each year, I still cannot believe He would allow me the privilege. I have such a passion to gather women together to share their God stories and to create a beautiful place for women to come and soak in His presence. It is truly a labor of love. But the fact that He allows me the honor is such a gift to me. It has not been easy at all, but with each event, I learn and grow so much. To all of you who have prayed and interceded and sent your love, support, encouragement, cards and sweet gifts.  I thank you with all that I am. You will never know how much it has meant to me. 

Glory to His name.


paige said...

love love love love all of this!!!!!
the images are amazing!
would love to hear their stories one day too!
so amazing to watch what the lord continues to do in & through you my friend

{A*very} Blessed Life said...

Oh Sibi! Just reading this post has brought back the many, many emotions that were born in my heart on that day! Each one of you touched my heart in a profound way as I watched God's love and light pour through you and bless each of us there with riches that could only come from God's own heart. You all are precious pearls and I thank you for sharing and letting us all know that we too are precious pearls in God's wondrous plan for his kingdom. God bless you dear friend! xoxo

Bravehearted Beauty {formerly LLH Designs} said...

Oh, Sibi, I'm in tears and I wasn't even there to hear the stories. My heart and spirit long to experience the other side of suffering...the beauty from ashes. Reading these snippets just strengthens my mustard seed faith. This was so worth the extra large cup of coffee I made to go along with your words. Thank you for being faithful to your calling and for having the courage to share your story...even when it's not finished and all tied up with a pretty bow. Oh, and speaking of pretty, I was thinking you looked beautiful in that color green! xo!

RachelRAdams said...

Sibi what a precious, genuine and heartfelt post. It was a beautiful summary of the Lord's day. He did great things that day and I know so many seeds were sown that will bear such wonderful fruit. You, my dear, are amazing. Amazing. That you listen to His call, say yes, and follow through on what He has entrusted to you, well it's amazing. There is no other word. It is clear you are His faithful servant. Thank you for creating TPE with Him. Thank you for being His hands and feet, even with 6 babies tugging at you for all they need... somehow you still have time for all of this, for all of us. Such beauty there. Love you big time!

Love Being A Nonny said...

There aren't words big enough.

This post brings back so many sweet memories. You are truly one of God's finest.

Thank you for affirming us all. And loving us. YOU are His pearl.

Oh, and it's
(No blogspot...I have arrived:)...or maybe I haven't)

Love you Sibi.

Anonymous said...

sweet sibi~ You remind me of that sweet song.
for your glory...
for your kingdom...
for your name oh lord...
here I am.
You ARE his pearl!