Merry Christmas from Pearl Girls™! We hope you enjoy these Christmas “Pearls of Wisdom” from the authors who were so kind to donate their time and talents! If you miss a few posts, you’ll be able go back through and read them on this blog throughout the next few days.
(Also - There are a total of "12 Posts" for the 12 Pearls of Christmas! If you would like to read ALL of the posts, there are 2 ways to do this.
1. Click the HOME button and scroll down. You will come across some posts.
2. To read "ALL" the Posts, look in the LEFT side-column under Archives. Click on December. Go down the list looking for the 12 Pearls of Christmas Posts. Some of them start off with that wording, and then some of them may start off with the Day 1, or Day 2, etc. Keep looking and you will find ALL of them!
3. Remember, there are '12' posts in total. This post happens to be #4, so as of today, we have '4' posts - yet there will also be future posts, too! Future posts would be posts above this, such as Day 9, Day 10, etc. It may take a little looking around, but you WILL find them! Enjoy them all! We have WONDERFUL AUTHORS who have written some WONDERFUL Posts you will enjoy VERY much!! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading these as I have posted them! I have some favorites that will stay with me forever! If you come across some you would like to share, feel free to do so!
4. ***URGENT*** Most of all, make SURE you ENTER for a chance to win that STRAND OF PEARLS!
5. Next year, (hopefully Margaret McSweeney will do this again?!) if you want to come back and read these Posts again, click on 2012. ALL of the Months of the Year will pop up. Remember ALL these Posts are in the month of December, and in December ONLY! (Also, next year I will do the Posts differently. I will use '1' LINK and '1' LINK ONLY! I will have a button on the side, and instead of linking it to Margaret McSweeney's blog, I will link it to MY POSTS. Her blog is in every post already, so you can access it from each post already. I think it will be MUCH easier to do it that way than the way I did it this year. If YOU have any suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments section! Thanks!
Enjoy! Good Luck, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to ALL my Readers and ALL of these Authors, too! Thank you, to ALL the Authors who have written these Posts! These have been wonderful stories to read, to reflect on, and to enjoy! GREAT job done by all! THANK "YOU" for adding to our wonderful season!
Remember: Jesus is the reason for the Season!
We’re giving away a pearl necklace in celebration of the holidays, as well as some items (books, a gift pack, music CDs) from the contributors! Enter now on Facebook or at the Pearl Girls blog. The winner will announced on January 2, 2013 at the Pearl Girls blog.
If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit www.pearlgirls.info and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls products (all GREAT gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls.
By Margaret McSweeney
“You have breast cancer.” Those four words my doctor said the week of Mother’s Day 2012 have forever changed my life. Mere months after my fiftieth birthday, I encountered this unexpected “lump in the road” and ventured through a major detour after reaching my half-century mark.
Through this “grit,” God has covered me with His amazing grace! At the same time of my diagnosis, two books released: Mother of Pearl: Luminous Lessons and Iridescent Faith along with Aftermath: Growing in Grace Through Grief. During this Christmas season, I rejoice that my cancer was caught and treated at an early stage. After six weeks of “daily radiance” (AKA radiation therapy), I started my daily dose of Tamoxifen to help battle any potential cells that might cause a recurrence. Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers.
While writing Aftermath and sharing my journey of grief as an adult orphan, I experienced several “hugs from heaven” as I discovered family letters, journals, and even a video in which my mother shares her faith. This is a mistletoe medley from my mother’s heart:
Each Christmas season my father used to go down into the woods behind our home and bring us back some mistletoe. It was a present that my sister and I loved. We’d tie it with bright ribbons and would hang it over several doorways in the house.
It was always fun of course for a Christmas party, but it came to mean more than that to us. It seemed to become a symbol of the meaning of Christmas: Love, God’s love for the world that prompted Him to send Christ to become our Savior. Somehow it seemed to enhance our love for each other as a family. And we found ourselves stepping under the mistletoe to give someone a hug or to plant a kiss on someone’s cheek and say, “I love you.”
I thought of these mistletoe Christmases during my mother’s losing battle with cancer. I penned my thoughts like this:
Illness, you ugly parasite!
Like mistletoe, you’ve entrenched yourself upon my body!
As you bloom and grow, you feed upon my strength.
I shall fight!
Battalions stand by to help!
My doctor’s scalpel will sever you.
Modern medicine will shrivel you.
You shall fall to the ground,
And I shall stand again strong and well.
But what if I cannot conquer you?
If you are with me still
As my constant, inevitable companion,
I pray that God will help me
Learn to live with you in peace
And somehow discover how you, my enemy—
Like mistletoe at Christmas—
Can serve some useful purpose.
There are times when we cannot rid our lives of things that hurt such as pain or grief, loss, illness, sorrow. Sometimes they’re with us as our inevitable companions and we must learn to make peace with them.
Those are the times when we can ask God through Christ to help us transform the loneliness, the pain, the grief, the loss-symbolically into something that can serve a useful purpose in our lives.
May you feel an extra “hug from heaven” this Christmas season from the loving arms of our Heavenly Father. God is present, and He knows your name!
*Text quoted from Aftermath (New Hope, 2012) by Margaret McSweeney, pp 114-115