Abundant Fruit.

Matthew 21:17-20

“Seeing the fig tree by the road, He went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves.” Matthew 21:19a

3 days into Holy Week has me examining my life like an Orchardist taking inventory of his trees. Carefully searching down one row then another, weeding, pruning, feeding, nurturing.

I’m asking myself this Tuesday before Resurrection, “What kind of fruit am I bearing?”…

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Galatians 5: 22-25

It’s tempting to want our outward appearances to look healthy, vibrant, green… like a beautiful orchard just before harvest. But if there’s no fruit, there’s no harvest… and if there’s no harvest then the beauty is wasted.

Oh that we would desire to bear Abundant Fruit in this season of isolation and sacrifice. That we would be diligent to tend to our lives prayerfully and with great care. I pray that Christ would be found in your orchard. That you would bear the most Abundant Fruit…

“They would be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:8 -Carly






Holy Moments

Matthew 21:12-17

It’s Holy Week and I pray that we would find The Holy One, seeking Him both day and night for peace and promise. Share in some Holy Moments…

Fasting. Seeking. Praying. Giving. Receiving. Living. Dying. Bowing. Rising…

Let this be the theme and posture of our homes as we lean into the spirit of resurrection. – Carly

What in The Word are you holding onto?


I wonder if you’re like me and you started 2020 with a desire to make changes, to see the next decade through a new lens. A fresh vision. Perhaps, you even had a specific word that resonated with you. If I could use one word to describe what was stirring in my heart it would be “expectation”. In January my husband and I decided to put our family home on the market. With an empty nest right around the corner, our desire to downsize and live simple was deep and we had focus. We set the date for the beginning of March, having no idea that would be the very month the world would be facing a pandemic! A national shut down.

We can’t lose our focus when difficult circumstances arise and catch us off guard.      “The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.” 1 Peter 4:7-8

Hopes and plans could easily be forgotten in such uncertain times. Quickly our perspective can change and the focus becomes surviving instead of thriving . Let’s not forget those words we held with such zeal just a few short months ago. Can we just switch our focus back and trust that The Word-Giver is also a Word Keeper.

I’ve been challenging myself to hang on to certain words in these past few weeks…    Faith {over fear}, Feast {over famine}, Forgiveness {over forsaken}. Words to live by, especially in a season like the one we’re in. If you should find yourself hanging on by a thread, searching for something to hold onto, I pray you’ll take These Words, These Living, God-Breathed Words and hang on for dear life…

“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them to your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.” Deuteronomy 11:18-21

Take courage friends, don’t lose heart. The Word-Giver keeps His Word.

Have you been holding onto a specific word for 2020?

Are you struggling to hold onto it during this season?

Do the words you’re clinging onto line up with His Word?

As always I love hearing from you! Im not currently hanging out in the socials, so be sure to leave your comments here on the blog.





These Days.

“When Elijah took his eyes off the Lord… fear replaced his faith.”                                        -David Jeremiah

                                                                                                                                                          These days are hard. Each one brings with it new concerns and more than enough reasons to feel overwhelmed with dread. Uncertainty looms and questions abound.

These days are the best days to rein in our thoughts and find joy in the mundane. I keep looking for it in the simplicity of the ordinary day. Early morning prayers. Midday walks down a rocky path with my gran-girl counting rocks, and pulling up dandelions, stuffing them in her pockets to give away. At night, we wrestle with our thoughts and choose to trust in the Rest-Giver.


These days we live slow and intentional, giving careful attention to the smallest of details. If we are the creators, we create. The writers, we write. The prayer warriors, we pray. The singers, we praise. The students, we study. Yes, we bake, we care-take, we play, we stay, we take long walks, and have long talks. We find Him in all the details.

These days may not be what we expected. Certainly they aren’t what we hoped for. But these are the days we’re living in. The very days that were ordained for us since the beginning of time. Let’s not forget that. These days haven’t caught the Day-Giver by surprise.

These days offer us a gift. Time. Open up some space in your heart to receive this gift. Listen for His voice. Remember Elijah? He separated himself from all the loud voices and God met with him. Not in the wind. Not in an earthquake. Not with fire. But, in a gentle whisper. {1 Kings 19:11-13} Elijah may have ran to the wilderness with fear in his heart, but, he came out with faith. These are the Days of Elijah. Let’s declare The Word of The Lord over our lives, our homes, our communities, our nation, our world.

“The Word possesses such power wherever seriously considered, heeded, and put into practice, that it never remains barren of fruit. It always awakens new thoughts, new pleasures and devotions, and cleanses the heart and its meditations.”        -Martin Luther

How are you spending These Days?

What’s He speaking to you during this quiet time in life?

Once These Days are over, will you be changing anything in your “normal” routine?

I would love to hear from you!

I’m not currently checking my socials- so please post your comments in the comment section here @thepearl.site .




Cultivate Quiet.

IMG_0950 2

A Quiet Life…

Isn’t that what we all want? Just a little peace and quiet. I longed for it when I was raising my children. Days were long and nights were short. If I could write a letter to my younger self I’d tell her she’s going to make it, that it’s not going to turn out how she thinks, and everyone will survive. I’d remind her to trust, trust, and keep on trusting and for the love – stop trying to figure it all out! I’d tell her to listen more, speak less, work hard, be patient, forgive, love unconditionally, and so much more.

The last 5 years or so of my life have been spent working these things out. Poring over Scripture, seeking His perspective on how to live. I had to build space into my daily life to cultivate quiet. Starting with letting go of formulas that have hung over my head for years. Somewhere along the line I’d convinced myself that being a good mother and wife meant that I’d have a clean house. Check. Well-behaved children. Check. Three meals a day. Check. Look presentable for my man. Check… you get the idea. ALL good things to want, but not ALWAYS attainable ALL the time! I cluttered my mind and motives with unrealistic expectations, focusing on the outward when what was needed was inward.

~ Create in Me pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.                                     {Psalm 51:10}

I believe the key to living a quiet life is a quiet mind. 

 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God– this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will. {Romans 12:1}

I was sacrificing myself at the altar of perfectionism more than I was offering myself to God. As a result I had no peace, in fact I found myself wanting to give people a piece of my mind! Thinking I knew what was best. I’m thankful for the patient love of the Father. Even when I was an angry- insecure woman, He was full of mercy. 

It’s easy to get caught up in keeping up. It’ll consume your thoughts and leave no room for peace and quiet. Take a deep breath and start somewhere. The mind is  beautiful and complex . It can be life-giving or death-leading.

  ~ This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life, and He will give you many years in the land He swore to give your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. {Deuteronomy 30:19-20}

Make it your ambition…

1.Cultivate Quiet. Create space for quiet in your home, work place, or even your vehicle. A couple of years ago I put a cozy chair, a small side table with a stack of my most treasured devotionals, and a cute lamp in a corner of our bedroom. It is one of my favorite spots. I often sit there throughout the week to reset.

2. Read Scripture. The most effective way to keep your mind at rest is to renew it with The Living Word.

3. Pray.  Try to avoid only praying for yourself. Praying for others is an act of humility. We have to be careful that our prayers aren’t just another opportunity for complaining.

4. Practice Peace. Challenge yourself to go beyond your natural instincts to give your “piece of mind” and practice self-control.

5. Find a rhythm of rest. We live in a busy world. We have to be intentional about slowing down and getting the proper rest. My husband and I have built in a sabbath every Sunday evening. I cannot express to you how valuable this time is.





Given: A Sacrificial Love Story

SnapseedWhile I own my life, my life is not my own.

This statement became very real to me after I had my first baby. He regularly needed his diaper changed (obviously)… and I remember thinking that motherhood’s no small task and what an awesome responsibility it was. This tiny little human was totally dependent on me, a 20 year old girl. I guess, technically, I was a woman for all intents and purposes. After all, I did give birth to this boy child! Little did I know that was only the beginning of the sacrifices I would be making. For the following 6 years, I would give birth to three more children and my days of wiping bottoms, making bottles, and chasing toddlers had just begun. I’m not gonna lie, those years left me bone tired and overwhelmed at times. But, the love for my babies flowed from a deep place within, and I knew from the very start that I would give my life for them. No matter how many messes I had to clean or how many nights I’d spend without sleep.

While I own my life, my life is not my own.

I have been fortunate to share life with some pretty extraordinary people. Folks who lay their lives down everyday for the well being of others, these include pastors, teachers, stay-at-home moms, working moms, fathers, directors of recovery homes, counselors, youth leaders, and countless others. Folks whose unseen giveness reaches beyond a superficial lifestyle. They may not drive fancy cars or live in pinterest-perfect homes, but the work they do , the love they give, the sacrificial lives they live speak loud to the hearts of lost souls. They choose daily to live given. I’ve heard it described as living cruciform-cross-shaped, arms open wide, face to the heavens, heart rendered to serving. They put others needs above their own… and they own it.


Scripture is full with passages about sacrificial love. I’m reminded of Ruth and Boaz- the sweetest little love story in all the Bible. (Seems appropriate to share on the eve of Valentine’s Day). This familiar narrative is a beautiful example of selflessness. As Ruth mourned the loss of her husband and the life she dreamed of, she clung to her mother-in-law with faithful determination, vowing to stay in it for the long haul. We find later in the text that this decision to live given led her to Boaz, the family’s kinsman redeemer. Boaz, loyal and filled with compassion, was merciful to Ruth and brought her into his community, his life, his heart. He redeemed her. This was only the beginning of the mission to redeem generations to come. A foreshadowing of Christ redeeming us. Both Ruth and Boaz exemplify how, when we are willing to do the hard things, we make space in our lives for blessing.

We’ve all been given this one life to live. We get to choose how we will spend it. Will we keep it to ourselves? Will we stay wrapped up in our own plans, in our own little worlds, having our own cake and eating it too? Or will we put ourselves out there as vessels to be poured and used for His purpose?

~ Carly





Unconditional Love…

IMG_2887 He promised to love me unconditionally, with no limits and no expectations. So simple is the love he gives. Just the kind of love that I needed in my life. I was an 18 year old bride, my life up to that point had been a good mix of joy and pain. The summer before we married my biological father was killed in a motorcycle accident. My step father was battling his own demons, so needless to say my heart knew rejection, abandonment, heart-ache.

He delivered on his vow, and now 25 years later, I look back and see many ways that I’ve received Unconditional Love. As a young wife and mother, I too had familiar demons. I was only able to find rest when my heart surrendered to the Lover of my Soul. While the love of my husband is rich and long-suffering, it pales in comparison to that of the Unconditional Love of God.

I’m not sure what I’ve done to deserve this love I’m experiencing here in my life, in my home, in my everyday …

When I fall short and make a real mess of things, when I use harsh words that tear down, when I doubt His faithfulness. Unconditional Love loves me back to the bridegroom.

For your Maker is your husband—the Lord Almighty is his name…” Isaiah 54:5a 

We can take joy in being the bride of Unconditional Love! The kind of love that lays His life down for us, no matter how undeserving. Who loves us when we’re unlovely. Who wipes away our hot tears when for the life of us they. just. won’t. stop.

No matter our status. Married. Single. Young. Old. This Love is for all.


Love covers  1 Peter 4:8

Love binds us together  Colossians 3:14

Love is a gift  Ephesians 2:8

Everlasting Love  Jeremiah 31:3

Eternal Love  John 3:16

Love remains  1 Corinthians 13

Love Sacrifices  1 John 3:16



all my life…


“All my life you have been faithful”…

These were the words my husband and I heard first thing Monday morning. Our oldest daughter, Anna Marie, serenaded her daddy and I unknowingly, as we lay in the bed, and she takes her morning shower. My heart filled with thanks to God for His faithfulness to our family.

“All my life you have been so so good”… as she continues to sing every word of this sweet chorus I am overwhelmed with a rush of memories from when she was a child. So full of spunk and enough love for others to fill a thousand buckets.

“With every breath that I am able”… she doesn’t let up, her voice held conviction. Holding onto every word, she sounds like an angel to her daddy and I. We just laid there letting her song pour over us, as if  we were allowing it to set the tone for our day. For our week.

Her wedding week…

Her last Monday morning at home… perhaps, the last time I”ll ever hear her singing from the shower.

I suppose I could choose to be a mess, depressed, and maybe even a little stressed. There’s certainly plenty of reasons to feel all of these. There’s always a possibility that I will before its all been said and done. But for now, I’m holding fast to those powerful lyrics that started this week and claiming them as my own!

I will sing of the goodness of God”…

That three year old you see in the picture above, she too often woke us up singing playful tunes and catchy choruses …

“If you’re happy and you know it…”

“YES! Jesus loves me…”

“This little light of mine…”

So, here’s our challenge. Right here in the middle of our week..

Let’s rise above the temptation to start days with gloomy attitudes, as if to expect things to go bad.

Let’s tune into the melody God is singing over us on the hard days.

Let’s practice peace by leaning into His goodness.

Let’s remember His faithful presence every step of the way.

” Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.” Psalm 63:3-4