I love to talk with people whose walks of life are different from my own.  Though their walk may be different each person has a story of joy and sorrow.  The blacksmithing conference at Tannehill State Park  brought together people who otherwise, may never get together. Doctors, farmers, lawyers, radio station managers, mothers, children the list goes on and on.

The men stayed in the blacksmith shop, while the women, old and young alike, went to the top of the hill and learned to make baskets.

Sitting together the women share stories.  One story of a friend who died and a bracelet worn her memory, one heroic story of a positive attitude during chemo and the pink “rally hat” worn to cover the newly exposed pink skin.

 A woman with a terrific sense of humor, began her story with, “Did I tell you about the time my cell phone committed suicide in my glass of red wine?”  Then told her story of being abandoned by her husband.

Each person telling their stories that they kept hidden deep in their hearts.  Stories also of a marriage restored, a passion finally realized, and philosophy of joy.

Sometimes we cannot see the forest for the trees; sometimes we cannot see the trees for the forest, unless we stop and sit for a “spell.” 

 It would have been easy to have fun at the conference as a whole and not slowed down to look into the faces of the other people.  I would have missed the greatest blessings of all had I not “sat down for a spell” and listened.
As a grain a sand in an oyster brings forth a pearl, our sorrows, taken to Christ bring forth something of great value.  String of Pearls speaks of the stories in the heart and reminds us  to take it all to Him, and by the end of our lives we will have a String of Pearls.  

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Diane W. Bailey is the founder of The Consilium – an online community of wisdom and purpose for women over 45 years of age. She is a published author. Her books include String of Pearls – From Tears to Treasure, and 30 Days To A Better Stepfamily. She creates her own line of precious metals bracelets. Diane lives in the Deep South with her husband Doc. Together they have created a stepfamily, each having two stepchildren and two birth children, and share three grandchildren, one black lab named Charlie and one long haired tabby cat named Lil Girl. Diane’s passion is to encourage women to be all God has created them to be by pressing past fear and daring to live life as an adventure. Some of her life adventures include traveling to Israel, speaking, entrepreneurship and backyard farming with Doc. She loves Gumbo, fried shrimp and seeing all sunsets across water.

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