Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Southern Girls Gotta Have Her Pearls.....

The Parable of the Pearl of Great Price
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
Matthew 13;45-46 (NKJV)
With great anticipation I opened the shiny pale pink package and gasp in surprise at the jewelers name stamped on top of the box. "My very first piece of real jewelry!" I cried. I carefully lifted the lid and inside lay a soft gray pouch with pink stitching around the edges. Sliding my fingers under the flap I pulled forth a card that was embossed with elegant gold swirls. The middle of the card held one single pearl on a delicate gold chain. It was an Add-A-Pearl necklace, a gift from my dad for my 13Th birthday.
For many special occasions in the years to come I would receive another pearl to add to my necklace. Most girls my age at the time were receiving these necklaces. In many Southern families it is tradition to pass along pearls from generation to generation, mother to daughter or grandmother to granddaughter. We didn't have any such treasure in our family so the tradition was to start with me. I was thrilled and so began my love affair with pearls.

Over the years my collection has been added to. My most recent additions arrived in the mail yesterday. I received this gorgeous hand made necklace and ring from Jeweled Elegance. These are from the Secret Garden line. The wonderfully talented designer, Heather, sells these as well as some of the most delicate, feminine, and reasonably priced jewelry through her online shop. I am so excited over these pieces, especially the ring. I am the very first belle on the blog block to have one! It is stunning and fits like a dream. The darling little birds nest design is awesome and perfect little pearls are nestled inside like tiny eggs. I also purchased a pair of the most delicate feminine earrings from her.
I've always been fascinated by the formation of pearls. Pearls are formed in oysters or mollusk as a response to an irritant, which enters when the shell valves are open for feeding or respiration. The oyster or mollusk secretes a lustrous substance, nacre, around the object to protect the soft tissue and to seal off the irritation. Layer upon layer the nacre coats the irritant and a pearl is formed. Light reflected from the layers produces the iridescent luster. Pearls vary in color which depends upon the type of mollusk or oyster, the type and depth of water where they live. Pearls that are grown in warmer deeper water tend to be darker in color, are more rare and valuable. The pearl is the official gemstone for my birth month of June. The meaning of pearl is gem of the sea. Pearl is often used as a metaphor for something rare, fine, and admirable. It is said that the pearl is a symbol of femininity, wisdom, charity, honesty, integrity, preciousness, purity of heart, and spiritual transformation.

Thinking about the formation of these lustrous gemstones made me realize that my spiritual life has been formed in much the same way. There was an irritant, sin, inside the shell of my heart. I had been feeding and taking in the wrong things and it was resulting in a damaged life. When I invited Christ into my life He began to serve as a protective layer, a balm of sorts, that covered my sin and sealed it. As I began to grow in Him layer upon layer, line by line, precept by precept, spiritual transformation began to take place.
The first layer I received was honesty, realizing and admitting I was a sinner in need of a Savior. The next layer was one of purity. He washed away my sin and purified my heart. Another layer was then added, one of wisdom which I received by feeding upon the Word. A generous layer of integrity was added as I began to follow and obey His commands. A layer of charity was added and enabled me to reach out to others. A lustrous layer of femininity was added as I learned submission. All these layers were created and fused together through all types of circumstances. Sometimes through depths of despair and at others through times of peace and joy.

We Southerners hold our traditions dear in our hearts. My hearts desire is to pass all my pearls on to my daughter. I want to give her more than just something for physical adorning. I sincerely hope I can pass to her the spiritual treasures of my heart, pearls of great price that cannot be bought or sold, ones that can only be learned, lived, and told.
God is able to do an infinitely greater and more valuable work in the heart of man than any oyster or mollusk will ever produce in even the rarest of pearls. He took the ragged rough grains of sin in my life and began to slowly transform them over time, growing my heart into a precious object of great value and beauty in His sight. He desires to create in all of us something rare and fine and admirable. My hope is that in the rest of my span on this earth I will continue to collect layer upon layer of His light which would reflect from me to produce an irresistible iridescent luster that draws other to Him.

Blessings,
Miss Sandy

12 comments:

Lori said...

i just love Heather's nest jewelry!!! it is so sweet:)

Angie said...

What a beautiful post! Unlike most women, I'm not big on diamonds, but I love pearls. Thank you for telling the story behind them. Excellent ideas here and so well put!

MrsJoeB said...

Miss Sandy-What an absolutely beautiful post!! I have been blessed in several way, first, spiritually as my life does resemble the pearl and the redemptive grace I now live in. I was born in June so I have long been fasinated with pearls knowing it was my birthstone and what a great ideal for my daughters 13th birthday next month! Your post also made me think of opals which I also cherish. Opals go through a lot of "roughing up" to reach it's beauty. I have gone through a lot of "roughing up", mostly because of my own choices, but I would not cahnge it for what I now have in Christ. I had an opal ring, a gift from my husband, it was a symbol of my Christian journey. I lost the stone last year and was heartbroken. Hopefully my husband will remember this when he needs to buy me a gift!
You are a blessing! In His Graces~Pamela

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

That was truly lovely...beautifully illustrated with carefully selected words and photographs...another masterpiece!

Your jewelry selections are very nice, too. I'll have to check out more of your link soon.

I know that you give all the credit to the Lord for your talent and ability, but in order for Him to be able to use you, you must cooperate! Thank you for cooperating, Miss Sandy.

Soooo, have you turned the table yet?

Catherine Holman said...

Beautiful! You're a blessing to all of us in blogland!

Bejeweled said...

What a wonderful post! I love all your posts, but I just love the pearl metaphor - that really spoke to me. And I love the idea of an add-a-pearl necklace. What a sweet gift to give and add to throughout the years.

I'm so glad you love your jewels! Wishing you much joy and happiness with them!

Kims Art said...

Beautiful! Every morning with coffee in hand I link over to Quill Cottage just to see what Miss Sandy will talk about today. I look forward to every post.

Anonymous said...

There you go again using the pearl this time as a reference. I love the way you do that! Still here enjoying your blog. I a June birthday too!
Vicki

Andylynne said...

Thank you for the wonderful post. You have a way with words, and a way of touching hearts. Your post is a pearl of great price. The wisdom of the analagy is beautiful. I love thinking of my spiritul life in the terms of a pearl. If you have doubt about writing still don't :).

Fete et Fleur said...

What an amazing way for a parent to recognize their little girls passage into young womanhood. How incredibly lovely. Thank You for sharing this Sandy!

Hugs! Nancy

Heather@Mommymonk said...

Sandy,
Stop by my blog - I've given you a bloggy award! (Isn't that what newfound friends are for?)

MrsProverbs31 said...

Pearls, they are as unique as they are rare. I hope that makes sense. I love your analogies. I'm going to come back and read to absorb. Right now, I have to go and run my errands before I regret it.

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