Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Hope your table is full of family and friends today.


I am looking forward to a day spend with my family and can not wait to see all the names that will be added to my tablecloth


We have much to be thankful for!


God Bless,

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Refiner’s Fire

Good morning!
Today I want to share a poem that I found yesterday and have not been able to get off of my mind. 
God has used this poem to pour sweet honey into my heart and soul.  I hope it will speak to your heart the way it has mine.

The Refiner’s Fire

He sat by a furnace of seven-fold heat,
As He watched by the precious ore.And closer He bent with a searching gaze,As He
heated it more and more.
He knew He had ore that could stand the test
And He wanted the finest gold,
To mold as a crown, for the king to wear,
Set with gems of price untold.
So He laid our gold in the burning fire,
Tho’ we fain would say Him "nay."
And watched the dross that we had not seen
As it melted and passed away.
And the gold grew brighter and got more bright,
But our eyes were dim with tears,

We saw but the fire, not the Master’s hand,
And questioned with anxious fears.
Yet our gold shone out with a richer glow
As it mirrored a form above,
That bent o’er the fire, though unseen by us
With a look of ineffable love.
Can we think it pleases His loving heart
To cause us moments of pain?
Ah, no! But He sees through the present cross
The bliss of eternal gain.
So He waited there with a watchful eye,
With a love that is strong and sure.

And His gold did not suffer a bit more heat
Than was needed to make it pure.


I long to be HIS pure gold
I long to be changed
I long to let go of my impurities
I long to hear well done my good and faithful servant
I long to be of use
I long to be worthy of His crown
I long to desire His will
I long to submit all
I long for HIM, my refiner
I long to be His pure gold

Sweet Sister,
there is purpose in the refining process.
It is painful but there is purpose.
I pray that you will find encouragement to stay in the fire as long as you need to be there.
I pray that one day soon you will be able to count it all joy (James 1:2).
Your Refiner loves you and desires the best of and for you.
You are worthy of His work.
You are worthy.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Give Thanks

Hello strangers, hope you are all well.
Me, well I am great!
Just busy living life, with no time to spare.
I wanted to take just a moment to pop in and show you all that I am still alive and kicking and that I have even started fluffing for Thanksgiving.
I changed my chalkboard and made a new wreath.
I love them and I am excited for this beautiful season of
intentional thanksgiving.
Thankful for so much,

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Blog Talk Radio, I DID IT!!!!!

Thank you to everyone who listen.  Thank you to everyone who sent kind words.  Thank you everyone who prayed.  You all have BLESSED ME!!!!
The great thing was and is I think it went really well, all praise to GOD!  I hope to write more in the coming days and weeks about the show and about how and what God has done in my heart.
In the meantime if you missed the show I wanted to let you know you can listen to it right below.

Listen to internet radio with The Pearl on Blog Talk Radio
Just click the play button and turn up the volume.

My prayer is that the transformation that God has started in my heart can start in yours.  I pray that my willingness to follow God in trying to find and understand my godly beauty and worth can and will encourage you to seek Him for your own transformation.  God is good and He desires to set you free.

Galatians 5:1
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Some of you were asking for the verses we read, so I am including them for you.
Top Ten Beauty Treatments
1. Psalm 139:14-18 
I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in secret , and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed and in your book they were all written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. How precious are your thoughts to me, Oh God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand. When I am awake I am still with you.

2. Luke 12:6-7  
Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs on your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows.

3. Jeremiah 1: 5-6  
Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to many nations.

4. 1 Timothy 4:8  
For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.

5. Gal. 5:22   
But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. (against such there is no law)

6. 1Peter 2:9   
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

7. Philippians 1:6  
Being confident in this very thing. He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

8. Ephesians 3:16-19
That He would grant you,  according to the riches of His glory, to be          strengthened with might through His spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;that you being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height- to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge;that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.                          

9. Psalm 45:11  
The King is enthralled with your beauty; honor Him, For He is your Lord.

10. Esther 4:14
For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your Father's house will perish. Yet who knows  whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

Isaiah 61: 1-4The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to the bound, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. And they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations.

As always if you would like to chat more
you can leave a comment or email me at

Cha Cha

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Blog Talk Radio Show

Hi Ladies,
I have exciting news to share with you!  I will be the Guest blogger on my dear friend Sibi's radio show this Monday night at 9:00 pm central time.  I have written about our friendship here and here. You can listen to the radio show here. 
See my name and blog address beside the arrow, it makes my excited to see what God has planned Monday night and in the future.  Sibi and I will be talking about what God’s word says about beauty and worth as a woman.  I recently wrote about my own personal struggle with this subject here.  I know God’s hand is all over this and I am so excited to share it all with you. 

In my search for godly beauty and worth God blessed me recently to be a model for my friend Jamie.  This is one of the pictures she took and I have to say I am very happy with it and I did not plan to like any of the pictures….. much less enjoy the experience. But God is good!

I will be writing  more about the picture and my story in the weeks to come.
I hope you will join us Monday night. 
And if you feel lead I would LOVE your prayers for the show.  I want it to be all God and not me, plus in my vanity I would like to NOT say ummm 57 times.
So now you know the exciting way God is working in my life.
How is He working in yours?
Cha Cha

Friday, August 31, 2012

Dressing Table Reveal

Back in February I shared my 39 Celebrations for my 39th Year and number 22 on the list was to makeover some furniture in our Master Bedroom.  First up was a desk that I have been waiting to paint for some time.  I can NOT find the before shot, grrrrr.  It was stained dark and it was pretty but it was in bad condition, so it was going to have to be stripped and refinished or painted.  For this room I was happy to paint it.  I painted it the same color the trim in this room will some day soon be, fingers crossed.  It is the perfect dressing table.  I fix my hair, put on makeup and jewelry all while sitting and looking out the window into the woods. 









Friday, August 3, 2012

Am I Beautiful?

Most days I will answer that with a big NO!  But there are rare days and if not days moments when I feel beautiful.  So what is different about those moments?  This is a question that has been rolling around in my head and heart lately and I have been turning the question to God.  Why do I not feel beautiful? 

The other day while on my tenth outfit I prayed that God would help me find something that I didn't hate.  Within the next few tries I found something that was okay.  Much of that days problems had to do with the fact that I have put on weight and nothing in my closet fits.  I know weight is an obstacle to overcome on my way to feeling beautiful but I know it is NOT why I don't feel beautiful.  I haven't ever felt different at any size.  So this brings me back to what is different in those moments when I do feel beautiful.  After much prayer and evaluation of people who seem to always feel beautiful I have come to the conclusion beauty is tangled up in our self worth.  Most days I do not feel worthy to be beautiful - I am just a staying home, just cleaning house, just teaching my kids.  I do not make myself worth the effort and my self worth goes down daily.  The flip side is after year of hiding behind beauty products and clothing, pretending I felt worthy when really I was a broken mess, I now feel guilt when I dress up.  Like I am being fake (lies from Satan, I know).  Again my worth goes down. 

So what is a girl to do in this crazy world to feel beautiful?

I wish I knew!

I wish I had the answer!

All I know is that I am bringing this to God and I am ready for the journey.  I am not walking away from this until I am confident in my godly worth and beauty!  I have complete faith that God will forgive and restore!  I know I will be changed after this and there will be an abundant overflow that will come out of me naturally and spill over into others lives.  I am excited.

21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of[a] your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation  Colossians 1:21&22

This post is in response to my friend Jamie's post.  I am taking a leap out of my comfort zone and being one of her models for her project.  She asked me just days after I started praying about all of this. It is so cool how God works.  I am praying and trusting that I will see myself as beautiful in these pictures and not want to hit delete like I do on every other picture I see of myself.  I am praying for Jamie and each of her models that the images will show how God sees each of these women.  I will let you know the results and what God calls me to do next.

Does anyone else struggle with this? 
Please tell me I am not alone.

Sit Relax and Read

Sunday, July 22, 2012

God is Great

So it is the middle of the night and I can not sleep, I have done all of the normal things a person would try to sleep but still it will not come. I decided long ago not to ever just lay there fighting to sleep. I get up, I view the time as a gift to spend praying, reading and after that sometimes even cleaning. Just so you know I have started a load of laundry. That makes me sound like a good housewife, right?  Tonight I have spent time praying and could not be satisfied with just that. I have these words that need to come out, they are not great words but the One they are about is great.

In this moment I am compelled to write. To write that You, God, are great and You are. I am in awe of You and all that You have done in my life, the beauty that You have scooped out of the burnt out pile of ash. There is still a heap of ash that we have yet to face....You in your sovereign, loving, greatness and me with my obedient and humble faith. I am at peace tough because I know we will get through it one scoop at a time. I no longer want to hurry things along (well most of the time). I desire each step, I long for the strength and courage it will bring. The exact training to be able to endure the removal of the next scoop. You are so faithful to reveal Yourself to me, to encourage me, to pick me up when I stumble, to trust me again. You bring me to each new phase and show me the strength that was gained during the last. You are great.

God and I have face more battles in the last two years than ever before. But you know what? I am at a place where I can see the value those battles bring to my life. I can see how my faith has grown. I can see the lessons I have learned. Above all I see how God has used my story to help others and to bring glory to His name. Because I continued to choose Him and not the easy way, now His glory is written into my story. He has made beauty from ashes.

I wonder are you in the middle of a battle and just need encouragement from someone who is, for the moment, looking at things from the other side. I can tell you sister it is worth every hour on your knees, every tear that slides down your cheek, and every page turned in your Bible. He has a plan for you, one bigger that you can dream. You have to get ready for it and sometimes growth comes with growing pains. I promise you  those pains will be worth it and you will praise God for them. As you know if you need someone to come along side you in prayer - I would be honored to do so, just send me an email

God Bless,

Sit Relax and Read

Monday, June 25, 2012

Fried Green Tomatoes with Homemade Buttermilk Dressing

A few years ago for our 9th wedding anniversary Jeremy and I spent the week without kids in Savannah, Georgia.  One of the highlights of our trip was on the last night when we attended Chef Joe Randall's cooking school.  The food was to die for and Chef Joe sent us home with all of the recipes.  Our favorite is fried green tomatoes with homemade buttermilk dressing.  I have simplified and adapted the recipe to our taste and it has become a family favorite.  It also gets rave reviews by everyone I make it for.  Please know that this is not Chef Joe’s recipe but his inspired mine.
fried green tomatoes
To start with you need
Green Tomatoes
Slice the tomatoes about a 1/4 in. thick
Next and this is VERY important
lay the slices out flat and sprinkle with salt.
Leave them flat for 20 minutes to an hour.
After that blot all the excess water that the salt pulls out with paper towels.
Flip and start over.
You will use lots of paper towels and if you are cheap like me this
make you crazy.
That is until you taste the first tomato, at that point you will throw the whole roll of paper towels in the trash and never think about them again.
Mix an egg with 1/2 cup of buttermilk.  Dip the tomatoes into this mixture.
Mix 1/2 cup of cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon red pepper
(note- this is spicy)
Dip the tomatoes into it.
Then fry in very hot peanut oil, a couple of minutes on each side.
Drain well and place on a plate covered in a paper towel.
(Yes, that is fried squash in the background….DON’T JUDGE)
Up Next,
Buttermilk Dressing
1 cup Duke's Mayo
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh parsley
2 teaspoons fresh basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
put all of this in a Mason jar and shake well.
Drizzle the tomatoes with the homemade buttermilk dressing
fried green tomatoes
Cha Cha
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Monday, June 4, 2012


The other day I commented on this picture by my friend Sibi
My comment was:
How is it you make the most simple things stunning.  Glad I am your friend and I can feel stunning when near you.

If you don’t know I am NOT the type of person who leaves comments,  I do NOT often feel I have anything of value to add to what is already there.  This picture was different, it captured my attention and held it.  I looked at it searching, searching out every detail.  The longer I stared at it the more my heart was captivated.  These are simple things, alone they would not be impressive but together they are stunning.


Sibi has a gift for making everything around her beautiful.  I have been a guest in her home, I have attended an event she has put together, and I have spent countless hours on the phone with her and after each I feel more beautiful.

Do you have friends who make you feel more beautiful?  

- Friends who will fuss and fluff until you are more beautiful
- Friends who you know WILL pray when you ask
- Friends who are praying when you don’t have the strength to ask
- Friends who will not allow you to be complacent
- Friends who see more in you and for you than you dare dream.
- Friends who see God in you and are thankful for it
- Friends who push you to press into God harder
- Friends who God has used to change you

I prayed for these types of friendships for years and today I am blessed and thankful to have them.  With them in my life…….my life has become more beautiful…...STUNNING.  With them in my life I am no longer one simple girl----we are a stunning arrangement. One that God can and does use for His glory.
Thank you Sibi for once again using your gifts to add beauty to my life.  You are a blessing.
Thank you to all my friends for being a gift given from God.  For each of you I am thankful.

Cha Cha

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Now that is a word that will bring an uncomfortable pause into a conversation.  It is a word I think most of us would like not to talk about but I have a feeling most of us have felt it on some level at least once in our lives.  Our Sunday School teacher (Hi Jason) taught a lesson on this subject a few weeks ago and since then my head has been spinning with realizations about depression.  One of the biggest being the realization that I have fought depression most of my life, not the need medical help extreme…..but still depression.  I am quick to isolate myself and guard my heart to keep from dealing with life. 
Elijah was afraid[a] and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 5 Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.   1 kings 19:3-5
Have you ever felt like Elijah?  I know I have.
- I have been afraid
- I have ran from my problems
- I have hid from everything and everyone
- I have cried out for it to all be over
I have wallowed in these, tried to cover the pain with the next trill and believed the entire cycle was sin and then started over with even more guilt added to the mix.  This has proven to be a self-destructive recipe for disaster in my life.
What I am slowly starting to understand is that the depression has not been a sin in my life but how I have handled it has been.  Running from my problems and the people around me does not solve anything.  Spending money, starting a project or over eating, although momentarily providing an “excitement high”, does not solve anything.  Those three are my defense mechanism, they are how my sinful self tries to fill the gaping hole in my heart.  Unfortunately they propel the cycle further in the end.  Last but not least crying out for it to end does not solve anything. 
If the ways I have been mishandling things have been a sin but not the depression then that tells me I have to change the way I am handling the depression.
- First I am going to cry out to my Abba Father for help not to end it.
He knows how big my mountain is and exactly how each piece should be moved.
- Stop hiding – for me this means letting down my guard and letting people see the real me showing my junk as well as my pretty.
- Do not isolate myself – surround myself with godly people and trust them with my heart.
- Stop running from my problems.  Face them head on, one step at a time with my eyes on the will of God and not the problem.  I am going to do the next thing God leads me to do!
1 Kings 19:7-8 The angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you.” So he arose and ate and drank, 
Hebrews 10:35-36
35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
- Do not live in fear.
Joshua 1:9
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
This verse is one I have been meditating on often in the last few weeks and the Lord is using it to transform my life.
I have been living out each of these steps and it is amazing how old “habits” are changing and through perseverance my overwhelming mountain has turned into just taking the next step.
I am not sure why I have felt the need to write this out (I do NOT want to hit the publish button) maybe just for myself so I will remember but maybe God has a plan for it beyond me and it will touch one of you.  I am praying now that this will be for His glory.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Schoolroom Now

I have been MIA around here lately.  But don’t think I haven’t been busy, because I HAVE!  I have made new pillows for my recovered sofa.
I am loving the way it looks in front of the art wall and with the covered lampshades.
I also recovered this chair and made new drapes.
Not to mention updated the mantel.
Last, I hung some antique silver trays under the school desk to use as memo boards.
Next week the girls and I are going to make decorative magnets for the boards.
I hope to be back soon with more.
Cha Cha
Home Stories a to z
Tip Junkie
Tip Junkie handmade projects
The Shabby Creek Cottage

Monday, April 2, 2012

Hangin’ With My PEEPS & Peter Chocolate Tail

Good morning!
I thought I would pop in for just a second and show you this TOO cute peep wreath the girls made last week.

peep wreath

peep wreath
It was super easy.  I cut a circle out of cardboard and painted it peep yellow (I think that should an official color).  Then the girls hot glued peeps onto it.

And if you happen to need another simple idea, check this out.

chocolate bunny
I just hot glued a chocolate bunny onto a glass plate stand and scattered some grass and eggs, cover with a cloche and that was the end.
Easy Peasy!

Hope you have a great day.

Cha Cha

Friday, March 30, 2012

If My Husband Were a Hunter

If my husband were a hunter I imagine I would have chic antlers displayed on my walls but my husband is not a hunter, he is a restorer.  A restorer of vintage autos and because of this hobby you can find the carcass of a couple of dead trucks on our land.  A few months ago I asked Hubby to build me a gallery wall behind our newly recovered sofa.  He agreed and we got busy.  I knew I wanted the wall to display the girls art work and a United States map but I was looking for something funky to add to it and that is when the idea hit me.  I wanted the1966 Chevy truck grill.  It took a few day to get the nerve up to ask Hubby but once I did he was all for it.  We were careful not to damage it and built a structure behind it for support.  In the vintage truck world it is worth a good chunk of money and I have already had someone ask about buying it.  I do not want to sell it but there is a dollar figure that WILL get it off the wall and into someone else’s care, ha.  I love the way it looks and think it is the perfect funky thing I was looking for but the best part is the sweet and sentimental fact that my husband’s passion is now represented in our home.  My girl’s art mixed with their daddy’s art, glorious.
1966 Chevy truck grill
I love, love, love this.
My baby girl’s sunflower painting under my favorite Bible verse.
The Lord’s prayer print from France was a gift from a dear friend who spent the summer there.
gallery wall
We still have to make a frame for the map (it is #42 of the list of 927 things we still need to do around the house).
1966 Chevy truck grill

This room is quickly becoming my favorite in the whole house, the recovered sofa, the lampshade makeover and now the art wall, they all make my heart sing.
The tangerine tango flower is what inspired this entire wall.  My oldest girlie created it 3 or 4 years ago and from the moment I laid eyes on it …..I knew I wanted a gallery wall to display it.  Hope you think my funky wall is as cool as I do.

Cha Cha


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