Building Your Pearls

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Currently, I am reading through a book by Jackie Kendall and Debby Jones entitled Lady In Waiting: Becoming God’s Best While Waiting For Mr. Right. I haven’t dived in too deep yet – I’m only on chapter five after all, but from the pages I have delved into, I can assure you it is a great read.

Besides the fact that I have enjoyed reading it, I have found myself challenged spiritually with the questions and thought provoking statements. I won’t lie – some of them are hard, but its the good kind of difficult that makes you consider where you are in your faith realistically, not fictionally.

The main theme within the chapters so far has been building your character to become more Christ-like. This is where the analogy of the pearls comes into play.

Jackie and Debby write, “One of life’s most costly and beautiful objects is born out of pain and irritation – the pearl. A tiny piece of sand slips into an oyster’s shell and begins to rub against the soft tissue, causing irritation. In response to the irritation, the oyster produces a hard substance. This substance eventually develops into one of the world’s most beautiful jewels – a lovely luminous pearl. In fact, the greater the irritation, the more valuable the pearl!”

These ‘irritations’ in our own life can be in the form of trials, struggles, or as they say – singleness. We all have many pearls: some good, others bad. Yet, the fake white orbs will eventually fade into tarnished, chipped paint. No longer beautiful. But the real ones – the true ones forged in the fires of affliction and molded by the hovering hand of God will be the pearls that last.

In the book, they challenged the reader to work on producing pearls of character such as those from Galatians 5:22-23: peace, love, patience, self-control, etc…And so I am challenging you, my readers, as well as myself, to work on forming our own character pearls shiny and bright. Let the irritation of life be a form to lead us into the classroom of pearl building.

One last thought, at the end of chapter four, they ask two questions: “What books have you read dealing with the virtues/disciplines of a godly woman? In contrast, how many magazines have you read that deal with external glamour?”

When I really thought about it, I was surprised to realize that there are very few books, if any, that I have read which have made it their singular goal to teach and guide others on how to form godly character. On the other hand, I could easily recount a number of magazines I have flipped through dealing with outward beauty. This definitely made me realize that so often we forget to work on improving our character over improving our looks. Not to say that there is anything wrong with make-up or hair styles – Lord knows I love all of that, but I think when that becomes EVERYTHING and you are neglecting your spiritual walk and character then it becomes a problem.

~ Southern Dreamer

Note: All credit goes to Jackie Kendall and Debby Jones for the pearl analogy and the quotes.

Shoes Galore!

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I must say that I heartily agree with the above quote! 😉 Shoes are a wonderful (and highly necessary!) item to own – and of course are gorgeous and fun to wear as well. For all my fellow shoe-lovers out there, here are several pairs I have on my wish list!

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This Material Girl sandal is absolutely adorable! I love the minty green color and with the bow and shimmer, it is definitely irresistible.

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LOVE. I feel the strong need that these shoes from modcloth.com need to be in my closet 😉 From the flowered lace and the stringed tied bow, this is one striking pair!

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Sold at Macy’s, these Jessica Simpson flats are a great, versatile option to wear with dresses, skirts, or even skinny jeans! They come in five colors total including a black and neutral.

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This charming Kate Spade boot is super classy with a characteristic brown hue and block wedge while keeping from blending in with the sweet bow at the back (are you noticing a theme here?). 😉

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This wedged Toms boot is intriguing and quite stylish (in my opinion :)). The great thing about purchasing shoes from Toms is that for every pair you buy, one pair of shoes goes to someone in need.

Those are only five pairs of shoes that I love. I hope you discovered a new shoe for your own wish list!

~ Southern Dreamer

Adorable Bags

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If you know anything about me, then you know that I absolutely love shopping. I am convinced it is therapy for girls. On that note, I decided to share with all my lovely readers, several bags that I am dying to get my hands on!

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This Burberry bag caught my attention immediately! The design is unique and I love the chrome hued background.

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For a while now, I have enjoyed Coach’s purses and bags and with this specific one having the adorable bow, I can’t help but want it! 🙂 I have had one Coach purse and it stayed in good condition for two years before beginning to show wear – definitely well-made.

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Spartina, is a new brand I have discovered and I love the classy designs and styles! This small backpack would be perfect for taking on trips with the alternative being lugging around a heavy purse.

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All I can say is LOVE LOVE LOVE. 😉 From the sparkly exterior to the adorable pink bow, this definitely ranks up in my favorite bags list.

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This bag from Urban Outfitters makes a stunning statement! The brown color enables this to go with many different outfits while the additional glitter keeps it from being too boring.

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This Monopoly leather backpack would be a wonderful solution for school! It comes in the shown caramel brown color as well as a minty green, ivory white, and a mustard yellow.

And there we go! Those are some of the bags on my wish-list currently! What styles and brands of totes, purses, and backpacks do y’all love? Tell me in the comments! Have a wonderful day and keep shopping! 😉

~ Southern Dreamer

My Favorite Bible Verses

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I hope all of y’all have had a wonderful beginning to your week! 🙂 With school already starting and activities picking up, I’m sure life has sped up for you as it has for me.

Henceforth then, with this thought in mind, I decided to share a few of my favorite Bible verses with you! Continuing to spend time with the Lord even when life gets immensely busy is incredibly important. We do not allow ourselves to starve physically, then why would we ever intentionally starve ourselves spiritually?

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go,” ~ Joshua 1:9

I love this Scripture because it can apply to literally every area of your life either now or in the future. Fear and discouragement are two feelings that we experience whether we are five or fifty. This is a great verse to recall whenever fear has snatched onto your mind.

“Even perfection has its limits, but your commands have no limit,” ~ Psalm 119:96

This short verse is a good one to use if you struggle with perfectionism like myself. It reminds me that human attempts at perfection are limited and few, but God’s Word and grace have no limit.

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit,” ~ Psalm 34:18

Unlike the other verses, this one was told to me specifically by the Holy Spirit during a moment where I was struggling with anger towards Him. I find it amazing how this is the Scripture He chose to speak to me. Out of all of the ones in the Bible, this one talks about the person or people being discouraged and shattered in spirit while their hearts are broken. It does not say anything about anger or judgment. How marvelous it is that God can see into the deeper issue when we ourselves do not even know it is there.

I hope one of these three Scriptures has ignited an interest and fervor for the Bible within your heart! Have a wonderful week and remember to spend time with our Heavenly Father!

~ Southern Dreamer

My Favorite Romance Books

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In a way, this is a continuation of my post titled ‘Romantically Inclined’. I thought, after all, it might do well to give y’all a list of some good, clean romance books I have been fortunate enough to enjoy. Hopefully, some of these will spark your interest and take you on a marvelous journey within its pages!

  1. The Christy Miller series by Robin Jones Gunn.

This has to be one of my top favorite series’ that I’ve ever read. It follows the tale of a young teen, christyChristy Miller, through high school, college, and eventually marriage! Several topics that young people struggle with are addressed in a non-depressing way and by a Christian worldview. There is romance in this series (it wouldn’t be on my list if it lacked it) but it is clean while still satisfying your romantic taste. You can find these books at Lifeway or through CBD.

 

2. The Life of Faith series by Martha Finley

I have been reading these books since the time I was in middle school and continue to love them.

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This is an older series, written decades ago, but is nevertheless a wonderful read. One of my favorite things about this series is one of the heroine’s – Elsie Dinsmore. Her Christian character and virtue challenged me to step up my own. It is set during the 1800’s and there are several series within the overall series (the Elsie Dinsmore one being an example). It does contain romance in its most old-fashioned, elegant form. You can find these books at Lifeway or through CBD.

 

 

3. The Love Comes Softly series by Janette Oke.

This series is set in a historical time period during the mid 1800s and follows the tale of a younglove come softly woman named Marty who has just lost her husband in a tragic accident. Through a marriage of convenience, she slowly falls in love with Clark Davis and he with her. The ups and downs during their own lives and those of their children make an enjoyable read and give the reader a greater understanding of how people lived their lives centuries ago. You can find these books at Lifeway or through CBD.

 

 

 

I hope one of the three series’ I listed has intrigued your interest enough to look into reading! All of these books contain clean romance and are written from a Christian perspective. So tell me readers, do you have a favorite romance book or series that is without the common vulgar images and language common in today’s literature? Tell me in the comments!

Until next time,

~ Southern Dreamer