Saying Yes, &…

Hey there, Sweet Sister! It’s so good to be here with you again. 💙

If you’re joining us for the first time today, we’ve been spending time in the Parables.

Last week, Carly shared about The Parable of The Pearl and a little bit about how our blog, The Pearl Community came to be. If you haven’t read this one yet, I want to encourage you to go ahead and check it out.

For everyone who’s been following along with us for the last year, I want to say a big,

“THANK YOU!!!” 💙💙💙

We love being part of your lives & sharing pieces of our story along with the Word of God.

We also hope you’ve enjoyed diving into the Parables as much as we have. {If you have a favorite, let us know in the comments below!}

There’s something about reading every word written in red—It seems like I find something new every time I take a closer look.

This week, as we continue our search for treasures hidden in the words of Jesus, I want to invite you to look in a little bit different way as well.

The Parable of the Net {Matthew 13:47-51}

Hidden Treasures series ~ The Pearl Community

This week we’re looking at The Parable of the Net. You can find it in the reference listed above. Today, though, I just want to look at one verse.

It’s the conversation after Jesus talks to His disciples and tells them a story representing the “end of the age”—some serious, straight out of the Book of Revelation kind of stuff.

He looks at all of them, asks one question, and here is their response:

“Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked.

“Yes,” they replied.”

Matthew‬ ‭13:51 NIV

Wow. Seriously?

I don’t know about you, but reading this I feel like it’s nowhere near the actual truth.

Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised, because this is what we’re still doing today…

Can you hear it too?

It’s fear talking. {Ask me how I know.}

So many times we’re afraid to own up to what we don’t know, things we don’t understand, places we’re not getting it right…

& we end up missing out on a learning opportunity, a relational moment, or making space for grace.

What if the disciples had redeemed their response by being honest—saying no, I’m not sure, or at the very least: “Yes, &”—

I’ve been hearing this phrase a lot lately, maybe you’ve heard it too, but let’s think about it for a second. What would this response to Jesus look like in our own lives today?

• Yes, Jesus, I want to follow you & I need some help knowing what to do in this situation…

• Yes, I trust You, Lord, but I don’t know what to do about this struggle that’s been in my life for a long time…

• Yes, I believe Your Word, and that’s why I’m asking You to help me understand these questions I have about faith…

It’s real and raw when we open up to God instead of simply saying yes and turning the page of our Bible (or closing it)—

It’s also brave and beautiful.

This week I want to challenge you to bring your “Yes &” and even your “No” to Jesus—along with the question you may have.

He’s big enough to handle it.

& this is where beautiful relationship begins.

Lessons From a Pearl

The Parable of the Pearl of Great Price {Matthew 13:45-46}

Hidden Treasures series, The Pearl Community

“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


The birthstone for June is the pearl.

& I (Carly) just happen to be a June baby!

Pearls have always been on my radar.

A few years back I opened an art boutique in the heart of small town Franklin, KY & called it The Painted Pearl. Unfortunately, I had to close my little shop. However, my fascination with the pearl continued.

I once read something about pearls that stuck with me—“The Pearl needs no cutting or polishing by man.” From the moment I read it my heart yearned to go deeper & explore what more I could learn about these tiny iridescent treasures.

Here are a few facts that really stood out to me:

  • Pearls are unique in that they are the only gemstone that are made by a living creature
  • Pearls are formed over many years, deep within the sea, and must first overcome many obstacles to survive
  • Pearls get their shape & color from the environment they grow in

The more I read, the more connected I felt to the message of the pearl. I would spend my free time recording thoughts & the lessons I was learning.

I started to see how, in so many ways, we are all like the pearl!

So, I reached out to my amazingly talented sister-in-law (Nicki) & we began a journey toward what we now call The Pearl Community!

Our desire is to create a space for a community that celebrates women from all walks of life, all ages & stages…

Smart & Sassy

Quiet & Loud

Mothers, Wives, Sisters, Friends,

Artists & Dreamers

Same but different

A place where we honor the ways our Creator has uniquely fashioned us & share our redemption stories.

From the recovery community to the church ladies the resounding message is that He makes everything beautiful in it’s time!

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

We believe the Parable of the Pearl is a beautiful example of how God sees us—Beautiful, Valuable, Priceless. He gave all & joyfully sought us out.

Stay tuned this summer as we unpack what The Pearl Community is all about!

Here’s a link to one of our first posts on Instagram, it says everything. 🐚

A Mustard Seed of Faith

The Parable of the Mustard Seed {Matthew 13:31-32}

Hidden Treasures series ~ The Pearl Community

“He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.

Though it is the smallest of all seeds,

yet when it grows,

it is the largest of garden plants

& becomes a tree,

so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”” —Matthew‬ ‭13:31-32‬ ‭NIV‬‬

This week, as we look at this familiar parable, it’s our privilege to share with you one story of how a simple seed of faith can grow.

So, let’s take a trip to Franklin, Kentucky, and step into Mustard Seed Market on the square.

This mother~daughter business first started in the Fall of 2015 when daughter, Tammie Carey, first talked to her mother, Ann Evans, about an idea for a shop on their hometown square. This shop would make space for local products and small business owners, as well as supporting fair-trade sellers and women’s ministries.

Within 8 weeks, that dream became a reality as this mother & daughter together opened a storefront in the heart of downtown Franklin, KY just in time for Christmas!

“Opening the shop was a true leap of faith. I’ve never worked retail so the whole experience has been a true learning experience,

We have been blessed so much by our vendors, the people we have met, the relationships made and the experiences we have had. We truly love being a part of Downtown Franklin!”

Tammie Carey

Since that time, the Mustard Seed has more than doubled in size. After moving into a bigger building in October of 2018, they are now able to house 32 market spaces—which offer a little bit of everything!

If you look around you’ll see…

Mustard Seed Market Scripture tees, devotionals, or a mustard seed necklace

Mercy Workshop jewelry & New Hope bags—made in the Dominican Republic by women saved from abuse & human trafficking

Thistle Farms bath & body products—made by women survivors and supporting their healing journey

We especially love the prayer wall—a place where visitors can write their own prayer on a shop tag & hang it together with so many others to be prayed over by the owners as well as other sisters in the Lord.

This local treasure is more than just a business—it’s also a ministry. Blessing those in the community as well as visitors far and wide.

We’ve had people from all over the world. You never know what seed you’ve planted.

Ann Evans

So whether you’re from Kentucky or simply stopping through, we hope you’ve been encouraged by this faith story & what started as a mustard seed of faith. 💛

If you’re praying over your own mustard seed, will you let us know in the comments? We’re praying over every one. 💛

Pulling Weeds

The Parable of the Weeds {Matthew 13:25-30, 36-43}

Hidden Treasures series, The Pearl Community

“Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.

“ ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ “ ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them.

Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’ ””
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:24-30‬ ‭NIV‬‬


Uncomfortable. Not a “feel good” story. Almost offensive. It feels like a lot.

Here’s the thing. In Jesus’ time, all this made perfect sense—

Back then, if someone was mad at you, it wasn’t uncommon for them to sneak into your field at night and plant unwanted seed in your wheat crop.

& not just any kind—a certain variety that looked exactly like the real thing, except it was completely worthless.

Imitation wheat.

No value.

So obviously, the thing to do is yank those out of our field, right? Pulling weeds.

It’s our first instinct.

When there’s a problem, we get rid of it.

Where there are issues, we can edit those out.

But the parable tells us no—there’s a purpose here. We have to grow—here in the soil we’re planted, leaving our roots intact.

Then & only then will we be able to see the real thing—when we reach maturity & all else is stripped away.

The time of harvest—gathered by the One that planted the fruitful seed.

“Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom.

The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

“As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:36-43‬ ‭NIV‬‬

At first glance, I always think this story feels harsh, uncomfortable, out of place in the Gospel. But this time, reading the words of Jesus, I’m applying the heart of the Savior. Looking at His Word through eyes of Grace.

This parable reminds us we are planted.

• You are planted with a purpose.

• You have been given the time & space to grow.

• Your beautiful, genuine growth is sending a message to the world around you.

What will that message be to those around us? To one another? As we grow, what seed do we show?

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”—John‬ ‭13:34-35‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Pushing Seeds

Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables,
I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.” Matthew 13:34-35

The Parable of the Sower {Matthew 13:1-23}

Hidden Treasures Series, The Pearl Community

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Matthew 13:1-10

“This desire to plant seeds and grow good things is hardwired into us. Our story, after all, begins with a divine farmer, pushing seeds into dirt.”

—Growing Slow, Jennifer Dukes Lee

I love how Jennifer Dukes Lee puts it—“pushing seeds into dirt”.

This really shows up in parenting. The rhythms of everyday life often center around the needs of our children. Push, pull, & sometimes drag—we spend endless amounts of energy cultivating their hearts.

This time last year our youngest daughter, Olivia, graduated from high school. I remember worrying what the future held & praying the seeds her daddy & I planted—had taken root for the season to come.

Isn’t that what we do? We often place unrealistic pressure on ourselves {& our children} to not only plant the seed but to provide everything to ensure the perfect outcome—we want the prettiest garden on the block.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Philippians 4:6

Spending time worrying if the seed will grow only perpetuates fear & stunts growth. So, we trust that roots go deep and God’s purpose for our children’s lives is far greater than we could ever imagine! By faith we push seeds into the unknown & by faith we trust they will grow.

“Yes, Jesus Loves Me.” // A Mother’s Song

This week as we honor our mothers, we’re so blessed to share a scripture & song from our guest, Caitlyn Scaggs, of New Hope Girls.

My mom, Cynthia, is a living example of Psalm 78:4,  “We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.

When I think of my childhood I can hear my mom singing to me:

“Jesus loves me, this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong,
They are weak but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus Loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me,
The Bible tells me so.”

The beautiful simplicity of that song is profound. It is truth she instilled as she rocked me, while I was a colicky baby, and words she reminded me of as I was a moody teenager. They are words that she never let me forget, as I took a hold of my faith with both hands. On good days, the words of this song are true. During tough times, they are just as true. These are words she has sung over my children now, as she delights in her role as “Grandy.”

{Caitlyn is the Executive Manager for New Hope Girls, a non-profit based in the Dominican Republic that fights trafficking, exploitation and cycles of abuse. She starts each day with a cup of coffee and quiet reflection with gratitude, balances career with a deep commitment to faith, family, a love for running (and copious amounts of coffee). With an affinity for fuzzy socks and the color yellow, she lives a vibrant and bold life!}

You can find her on Facebook: Boldly Pursue & New Hope Girls

Instagram: @caitlynscaggs & @newhope.girls

Open the Grace {Day Forty} 40 Gifts for 40 Days

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words. Luke 24:1-8

Open our eyes…

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:30-32

To see The Lord…

They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread. Luke 24:33-35

He has risen from the Grave…

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:45-49

Today’s Gift of Grace // Hallelujah—He’s Alive!

Open the Grace {Day Forty} 40 Gifts for 40 Days

Risen King!

Paid the price!

Our lives to save—

Ultimate Sacrifice.

Opened the grave—

for all mankind!

Hallelujah—He’s Alive!

Hallelujah—He’s Alive!

Open the Grace {Day Thirty-Nine} 40 Gifts for 40 Days

Good Friday // The Road to Calvary & Christ’s Crucifixion

“It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.” —Luke‬ ‭23:44-46‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Today’s Gift of Grace // It is Finished.

Open the Grace {Day Thirty-Nine} 40 Gifts for 40 Days

“After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour wine,

He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”

John‬ ‭19:28-30‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Jesus, we remember Your suffering,

The price You paid so dearly with Your blood.

We can never thank You enough,

For all that You are,

For all that You’ve done,


We worship and adore You,

Grateful for the most precious gift,

The greatest cost,

So we could spend eternity with You.


The highest act of love is the giving of the best gift, and, if necessary, at the greatest cost, to the least deserving. That’s what God did. At the loss of His Son’s life to the totally undeserving, God gave the best gift – the display of the glory of Christ who is the image of God.

John Piper

Open the Grace {Day Thirty-Eight} 40 Gifts for 40 Days

Maundy Thursday // The Last Supper, Jesus Prays In The Garden Of Gethsemane

Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.” Luke 22:7-8

Todays Gift of Grace // We Remember

Open the Grace {Day Thirty-Eight} 40 Gifts for 40 Days

Jesus, we remember the way You prepared a table for us.

The bread.

The wine.

Your body.

Your blood.


Spilled out.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows. Psalm 23:5

In the Garden of Gethsemane

By Melissa McLaughlin

His footsteps fall softly in the olive grove

Enveloped in verdant Garden fragrance

The tender leaves, the stalwart trunks rooted and still,

The young olive fruit swelling with sustenance

A Garden pulsing with life

Yet death casts its shadow there

The earthy soil once wet with morning dew,

Now soaked with the tears of His divine sorrow

His steps falter as He drops to His knees

Face down, body gripped with anguish

The ominous ordeal looms ahead

Drops of blood slip from His brow

Mingling with tears and sweat

A river of grief flowing steadily down

Cries and tears are His prayer

The Son of Man, spotless and pure

Absorbing the full darkness of humanity

Every sin

of the world

Laid upon the back

Of the innocent Lamb

Precious, holy, gentle and good

In that moment

The Perfect One

Accepts the penalty

For every trace of wickedness

Taking our place

Justice is served

Righteousness upheld

Mercy extended

Grace given

To all who believe

Jesus is LORD

Brooding, dreading, enduring

The cross

For the joy set before Him

We. Were. That. Joy.

Remember another Garden

Not so long ago

Where sin took hold

Where God foretold

Of One who would come

To utter the final Word, “It is finished.”

That battle has begun

Right here in the Garden of Gethsemane

The Word speaks, “Not my will, but yours be done.”

The heaviness lifts

As He arises in the sovereign strength

Of heaven’s redemption song

A rustle of feet, hushed voices call

His captors rush in, the time has come

Yet He walks out in might, Son of God and Son of Man

For the battle on His knees is won

The King who would set us free from sin

Walks out of the Garden of Gethsemane

On a path toward pain and scorn and death

A captive of men

And a Victor for all

Open the Grace {Day Thirty-Seven} 40 Gifts for For Days

Silent Wednesday // Judas & Sanhedrin Prepare for Jesus’ Arrest

Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present. Luke 22:1-6

Today’s Gift of Grace is Silence

Open the Grace {Day Thirty -Seven} 40 Gifts for 40 Days

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. Isaiah 53:7

For a closer look at “Silent Wednesday”—we’ve included the link below.