Tuesday, December 13, 2011

12 days of Christmas

Welcome to the 3rd Annual Pearl Girls™ 12 Pearls of
Christmas blogging series!


We've gathered several of today's most beloved authors to share their
Christmas "Pearls of Wisdom"! Please follow along beginning tomorrow
(Wednesday the 14th) through Christmas day as Tricia Goyer, Suzanne Woods

Fisher, Rachel Hauck, Sandy Ralya, Sibella Giorello, Susan May Warren and
more, share their heartfelt stories of how God has touched their life during this
most wonderful time of the year.

If you'd like to share the 12 Pearls of Christmas with your blog readers
too, just email Christen and she'll send you the series.

AND of course there is a giveaway! Beginning tomorrow you and all your
friends can enter to win a PEARL NECKLACE and EARRINGS valued at
$450! The winner will be announced on New Year's Day! Pearls - a tangible
reminder of God's grace to us all.

***
Just a quick note before the series begins on the 14th ...

As I write this, I imagine that we are sitting at my kitchen table and chatting
over a cup of coffee while familiar Christmas carols celebrate the Season. My
twelve year old Chihuahua, Pongo, barks for a pinch of pound cake while my
Shih Tzu, Lilly, patiently sits by the chair and waits for a crumb to fall.

My name is not Martha Stewart, and I will never receive a neighborhood
beautification award. Just look at my front stoop. Yes, my never-had-time-to-
carve-the-pumpkin-that-now-suffers-from-frostbite slouches next to the front
door which is decorated with a Christmas wreath. I plan to roll this large orange
ornament to the garbage pile tomorrow. For now, however, I will pretend that
my front stoop is a contemplative modern art exhibit capturing the essence of
contrast.

Actually, I love the concept of juxtaposition – placing things together that don’t
seem to belong together, yet somehow ultimately make sense being paired. A
personal example for me this season is the phrase: “comfort and joy.” Having
just completed my manuscript for New Hope Publishers about the aftermath
of grief, I fully understand the contrast of those two words. How can comfort
bring joy? How can one find joy in loss?

Perhaps, dear reader, you have experienced loss this year – loss of a loved one,
loss of friendship, loss of health, loss of financial security, loss of trust, loss of
love, or loss of direction. Even with the best intent, words of encouragement
shared by others can somehow seem insufficient to address an inconsolable
loss. A spoken word cannot fully restore joy to a broken heart; however the
Word can. And that’s the bottom line message of Christmas! God gave us the

most amazing gift: His Son - the Word of God, the Holy Comforter.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that
whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but shall have everlasting life.”
(John 3:16).

You are not alone this Christmas, dear friend. Juxtaposed to the unexpected
grit in life is the gift of God’s grace wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying
in a manger. This year I purposely placed a pearl in the Nativity scene as a
metaphoric reminder. When we place our grit into the hands of the Lord, His
grace transforms our pain into a pearl.

“Joy to the world!”

Thank you so very much for sharing the JOY of the Season with us this year.

God Bless,
Margaret
@mcsweeny

***
Margaret McSweeney lives with her husband, David and two teenage
daughters in the Chicago suburbs. She is the founder and director of Pearl
Girls. For more information please visit www.pearlgirls.info. Margaret is fast
at work on several fiction manuscripts. Her book Pearl Girls: Encountering
Grit, Experiencing Grace was written to help fund the Pearl Girl Charities. She
is also the host of weekly radio show, Kitchen Chat. Connect with Margaret
on Facebook or Twitter.

4 comments:

  1. Looking forward to seeing all of the "pearls" here!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Leaving a comment for Karen who couldn't:

    Laura. I tried to write a post, but it says my account is not allowed??? Am I blocked on accident or something? I love the idea of the pearls.

    Thanks,

    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  3. I too am looking forward to seeing all of the pearls here. Thank you for mentioning this on your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am glad you posted my other comment. If others received the same message I did, then they haven't been able to post as well. Hope its fixed now. Thank you Laura.

    ReplyDelete