Sunday, December 27

Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace

A pearl…one of God’s wonders. Those of superb quality are valued highly as gemstones.

Each pearl begins as a tiny grit or grain of sand or some other foreign substance that the shelled mollusk cannot expel. This tiny irritant becomes lodged in the soft tissue folds of its inner tissue of the mollusk’s body and the mollusk does not have sufficient strength to expel it.

The mollusk overlays the irritant with a protective reaction, secreting a substance called nacre which covers the grit. After time works its miracle, a pearl of beauty is formed.

God makes pearls out of the irritants of our lives. The Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace book, a compilation of short stories and essays by several authors, including many well-known names, and edited by Margaret McSweeney, is a testament to God’s pearl-making abilities in the lives of all the contributors.

I loved these stories. Each one needs to be savored on its own for its rich content to be absorbed. Each woman’s story of overcoming a trial is a testament of how she turned her grit into a pearl of a testimony with God’s help and all to His glory. Some share the comfort they’ve received as they await their pearls.

Each story will fill you with hope and encourage you to know that the Lord can work in your life, no matter what the grit of your circumstance.

A note from Margaret McSweeney:

Inspired by the many women who opened their lives and shared their stories in Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace, we have created sister site, Post-a-Pearl. A place to continue the connection and encouragement the book began. I hope you will take the opportunity to connect through the Post-a-Pearl site. Please post your own Pearl story and reach out to share your own story with others. Collaborating is an important purpose of Pearl Girls. We connect to make a difference in the world.

Please know that 100% of the book’s royalties go toward building wells in Uganda for school children and to fund a safe house in Chicago for women and children who are fleeing from domestic abuse. The two charities are:

WINGS (women in need growing stronger): The proceeds will help fund a Safe House in the Chicago suburbs. It costs $50 a night to provide safe shelter for a woman and her children. During this economy, WINGS is receiving even more phone calls for a safe place to stay. Already, the Pearl Girls have provided 60 nights with the advance royalties.

Hands of Hope: The proceeds will help build wells in Uganda for school children. Can you imagine a child at school without a water fountain in the hallway where he or she can grab a quick sip of water in between classes on a hot day? These children have to drink from puddles and other water sources which carry diseases and parasites. It costs $12,000 to build a well in Uganda. Already, the Pearl Girls have provided funds to build ¼ of a well.

Hope this has whetted your spiritual appetite enough to purchase this book, for yourself or someone else and to benefit these two charities.

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