Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Life Beautiful

I'm continuing with some more pearls of inspiration today. This one is from a dear friend, Margaret McSweeney. You'll never meet a more generous person. The book, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, is Margaret's project and contains essays like these from some very incredible Christian authors. If you need a last minute Christmas gift, pick up a copy of this inspirational book and you'll not only be blessing the recipient, but a host of others as well because ALL the proceeds of this book are going to WINGS and Hands of Hope, two terrific charities.


Life Beautiful
by Margaret McSweeney


During a quiet moment after Thanksgiving, I started reading my parents' stack of love letters that I recently found in a storage box. As a Christmas gift to you, I would like to share my father's words to my mother written to her during Christmas 1949. This incredible "hug from heaven" has been a tangible affirmation that Pearl Girls has true meaning and great worth for women throughout the world. I pray that God will continue to bless this ministry and outreach. May we all realize that the grit in our lives can be transformed into grace through the love of God.

This is what I found written on a tiny folded card inscribed with "Christmas Greetings" on the front:

Christmas 1949

My Dearest Carolyn,

Truly a jewel is a thing of beauty, but a life that is lived to serve others and to glorify our Christ, such as yours, is my dearest, a far surpassing gem in radiance and beauty.

Pearls to me, symbolize this "Life Beautiful" that you have achieved, Carolyn. Each pearl is a result of a great hurt to the oyster's life. But the little mollusk builds an iridescent coat around this source of hurt, and as a result, the precious pearl comes into being. Life is like that too.

If we, like the pearl, can make of our hurts the basis of a thing of beauty, then we can bear witness to an on-looking world how Christians can overcome through Christ, blows that are seemingly insurmountable.

At this happiest season of the year, I give thanks to God for you, Carolyn - my Pearl of Great Price.

Your Claude

Isn't this an amazing Christmas Pearl? I hope this message has touched your heart, too. Another Christmas gift I would like to share with you: My father's lessons on leadership. These can be found on my guest blog post at Michael Hyatt's website.

During this holiday season, decorate your life with Christmas Pearls --- strands of God's grace-reminders that nothing can separate us from his love, not even the grittiest of circumstances.

And please celebrate the "Pearls of Great Price" in your life through Post a Pearl. It's a fun and free gift that you can share with special people who have been a blessing to you over the years.

Merry Christmas!
__________________________________________



Margaret McSweeney lives with her husband David and two teenage daughters in the Chicago suburbs. She's the founder of Pearl Girls and a published author. Please visit http://www.pearlgirls.info/ for more info. You can also find Margaret at her writing blog, From Finance to Fiction or on Facebook and twitter.


__________________________________________

A three strand pearl necklace will be given away on New Year's Day. All you need to do to have a chance of winning is leave a comment here. Come back on New Year's Day to see if you won!


12 Pearls of Christmas Series and contest sponsored by Pearl Girls®. For more information, please visit http://www.pearlgirls.info/

40 comments:

pbo said...

Thanks for the Pearl stories. They have made me stop and think, about how I am living my life and who I am living my life for.
Phyllis

Anonymous said...

Dawn,
I can't even begin to tell you how much your blog has meant to me. I check it every morning. Going thru a very rough time with my 17 year old daughter and I know God is watching over us and that there will be hills and valleys and many bumps in our road to recovery. Last night was a pretty bad night and reading your post first thing this morning helped oh so much. Reminds me of the Chinese Proverb: The gem cannot be polished withough friction, nor man perfected without trials.
I hope you and your family have a Blessed Christmas!
Deb

Juliana said...

These are very thoughtful and meaningful stories. Thanks for posting them here!

Sara said...

Oh, I would LOVE this!

Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

That was a beautiful love letter.

-Donna W.

Betsey said...

Dawn, your blog is one of the first I read every day, and I love it! All your "advntures" are so well written and I miss you when you don't post.

I pray you will have a Blessed Christmas and a new year filled with love and good health for all.

Betsey

strawberrymama said...

What an inspiring post! I would like to be entered in your drawing, please. ~Polly in MO

TamraK said...

Thanks for posting these stories, Dawn. They are so touching.

Chris said...

wow. what a story! and what a gift to have that box of letters!

Anonymous said...

pick me!!

engine96@gridcom.net

Jessi said...

What a beautiful letter. People just don't write like that anymore. The most I have gotten was an I love you E-mail from my husband. IT's still just as special to me, though!

Katina said...

Thanks for sharing that story!

Teresa Currey said...

Wow...to find a letter like that is really a gift. How wonderful! Thank you for a reminder of the true gift of the season!

AKKittyCat said...

I would be honored to wear these pearls after such inspirational stories! Missed having you update your blog more regularly Dawn!

I inCYST said...

i had a string of pearls that i did the samething with. They were from my grandmother. I ended up loosing them in a move and now wish I would have taken them out to wear!

jerilynne said...

I saw my dad in that letter...I lost him 19 months ago...thank you for posting this...:)

stephanie said...

A beautiful necklace...I would love to give it to my neice who just adopted a wonderful baby boy with down syndrome!
stephanie

Jen said...

What a wonderful thing to share. :) It really makes you think.

Nikki said...

What a lovely post! Thank you so much.

janetcc said...

Thank you so much for sharing these stories. I had a week when I really needed to be reminded what's important (not cause of Christmas, yucky work stuff). Your (or His) timing is perfect.

Anonymous said...

I love the pearl stories. I had never thought that my hurts in life could be represented like a pearl. It makes me want to put on a long (or three) stand of pearls. Each little hurt's beauty proudly around my neck!
Shannon in SC

Michelle said...

I am so loving the pearl stories -- how perfect, and I LOVE that they support WINGS. I have no room on my bookshelf with all the books I have now, but I think I might have to get it anyway :)

Merry Christmas, Dawn!

Carlyce in Wisconsin said...

What a wonderful thing to have a box of love letters between your parents. Not many people have that. (And yes, please add my name to the drawing. Thanks.)

Denise said...

Thanks for sharing! :)

Jenn said...

What a beautiful story. It's a shame most modern couples don't send letters like that anymore!

Steff said...

I love the Pearl stories and the book. I would love to give the pearls to one of my 4 daughters...

South Carolina Mom said...

I can relate to this story about the pearl being formed out of pain. 2009 has been a rough year for our family, but God has seen us through and made us stronger. Thanks for sharing!

Katie said...

Wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas!

Jill in MA said...

I would *love* to win that necklace! Merry Christmas to all!

purplelizard692@hotmail.com said...

Beautiful story! Its so touching for us to think back on some of the things our grandparents endured for us....and with shining smiles on their faces!!!

marcella. said...

thank you so much for posting this story, it's truly amazing!

Jen S said...

Too often these days, words such as those arent even said let alone written in a letter. Love the story.

Nina said...

what a good reminder...we can beautify ourselves through hardship...truly

D said...

I enjoyed reading about your shopping excursion - sometimes in giving of yourself someone receives so much back.

Things have been bleak lately due to medical concerns and it's one of the ways that I sometimes try to use to make my day better....

Thank you.............

Doug and Anna said...

Another great inspirational story... thanks again for sharing and encouraging me and countless others.

Laura G said...

Would be lovely to welcome in the New year with a string of pearls!

Anonymous said...

Oh boy! Jewelry!!!!!
:)



hawdieann@yahoo.com

Becki said...

Thanks for the stories! I'd love to have some pearls

Lurker Girl said...

Oh I just about cried reading this. I love these types of inspiration...

Thanks for posting them

Margaret McSweeney said...

Dawn, you are so dear! Thanks for sharing Pearl Girls with your readers. Happy New Year!!

Margaret

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