Pearl Culture

Hello Friend! As I have said from the birth of this blog, this is something I am doing because God pressed on my heart that he wants to encourage the spirits of young mamas, like myself, and I feel truly blessed to be used in this way. One of the excuses I had for NOT starting this blog was that I will run out of material… “I don’t actually know that much about successful motherhood, God!” He was patient with me and he slowly revealed an answer for every one of my excuses. And his answer for this one is that He will provide! I love the one-liner I heard at my women’s Bible study once: “If God brings you to it, he’ll walk you through it.” This can be backed up with a verse in Philippians…

Philippians 1:6: “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

If this is truly something God wants me to do, then OF COURSE he is going to provide the material for me! One way I am already seeing him provide is in a new friend he’s sent my way. Her name is Alicia and we only see each other briefly in passing most Sundays at church, but we are in the same life stage as each other: married, with two little boys (almost exactly the same ages as each other). And, like mine, her heart is brimming with thoughts, feelings, and struggles she’s facing in motherhood too. Last week we got together before the sun was up to enjoy a nice, hot breakfast together that someone else cooked! It was glorious! We talked about a lot of things, including motherhood.

Alicia shared this amazing quote she came across in the book she is reading: James Your Brother by Lehman Strauss. I have no choice but to pass it on to you because it blew my mind when she read it to me. The author is focusing on the book of James, where, “James encourages us to recognize that every test, every trial, every tribulation, with all the accompanying sorrow and disappointment, is a God-given opportunity for growth and development in the Christian life…” The author then includes something that Richard H. Seume added to his “Studies in James.” It is entitled: “The Blessing of Irritations.”

“Life on earth would not be worth much if every source of irritation were removed. Yet most of us rebel against the things that irritate us, and count as heavy loss what ought to be rich gain. We are told that the oyster is wiser; that when an irritating object, like a bit of sand, gets under the ‘mantle’ of his shell, he simply covers it with the most precious part of his being and makes of it a pearl. The irritation that it was causing is stopped by encrusting it with the pearly formation. A true pearl is therefore simply a VICTORY over irritation. Every irritation that gets into our lives today is an opportunity for pearl culture. The more irritations the devil flings at us, the more pearls we may have. We need only to welcome them and cover them completely with love, that most precious part of us, and the irritation will be smothered out as the pearl comes into being. What a store of pearls we may have, if we will!”

One of my earliest blog posts was about being selfish. I’m still learning to continuously lay my selfish nature down and refocus on God as the center (not me). This quote is so incredibly beautiful when applied to motherhood. We do get irritated, don’t we? It’s because we are selfish beings; and I feel like God will be refining me in this area for the rest of my life. But when I get frustrated with my kids it’s because I don’t want to do what they want to do right now. It’s because I am hangry! It’s because I would much rather have some peace and quiet right now. It’s because I had a plan and a schedule for how the day was going to go, and it’s been completely derailed. I could go on and on.

I know that my selfish nature is not likely to ever leave me on this side of heaven—nor will irritations—so I must take these opportunities to work towards producing a beautiful pearl. I want to look at an irritation as an opportunity, and cover it with nothing but love (that most precious part of me) and thereby produce a beautiful pearl through that act of selfless love… wow. And how much truer is this when applied to my very own children? The power we have as mothers is absolutely amazing.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments as you chew on this one!

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