Today we are blessed to feature a guest blogger who expanded her thoughts from a recent blog and Sipping Cups of Inspiration has been inspired. Please join us as Donna Childre gives us some thought provoking words in FINDING PEARLS IN UNEXPECTED PLACES. Thanks Donna for your pearls of wisdom. #blog #life #lessons #amwriting #love



A few days ago, I wrote a blog message about Life’s A Strand of Pearls and one of my writer friends mentioned that she has been thinking about Pearls of Wisdom. She expanded this message but in a slightly different direction. I think you will enjoy her thoughts and asked her to return as a guest blogger today. Here is Donna Childre’s message Finding Pearls in Unlikely Places

Buddy and Shirley Vaughn, parents of Donna Childre. Mrs. Shirley with her beautiful pearls.

Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness. Psalm 29:7

Seek His face; seek His kingdom. After all, He is the Good Shepherd and He knows the way through any wilderness. Life is a highway and it teaches us as we go. The choices we make as to who we follow make all the difference.

I want to be healthier, wealthier (not speaking of material wealth either), and wiser in 2019. It is my desire to allow myself to be filled with more love, peace, and joy. My hope is in the Lord and He is the Leader I choose to follow.

I’ve been thinking a lot about pearls of wisdom thanks to a blog written by Arline Lott Miller. I actually considered writing a piece myself about pearls but my prayers and meditations sent me off on a whole different tangent. As I said to Cuz Dean Hill, I had a brain explosion and still can’t seem to pull in all the fragments to assemble an understandable discourse. I just know I’m getting wiser.

One of the “pearls” I’ve learned along the way came from a mother much younger than I am, a most unlikely place when you’re thinking wisdom. In a roundabout way, it came from her husband. She posted about wanting to go to her baby’s fresh grave. Her husband told her that their baby was not in that pile of dirt. Amanda Amanda Nicole Pittman

I realized that was the way I feel about my Mama and Daddy. They are not in that pile of dirt where their earthly bodies rest. They are dancing in heaven. However, the most important revelation for me was that they are in my blood. Like Jesus, I take them everywhere I go. They are always with me. I never felt Daddy stronger than when I was recently in Nashville listening to the music he loved. I felt right at home. I feel Mama in my kitchen when I fry toast and I see her in the blooms of her African violet that sits on my windowsill. I also smell her when I spritz myself with the fragrance of the perfumes she left. I feel Jesus when I study His Word and thank Him for my blessings.

The key to making a journey that honors God is to collect the pearls. They come from our heritage, they come from the people whose paths cross ours, and they come from studying God’s Word. They are in the most ordinary places if you allow yourself to slow down and look. We must become experts at following Christ’s footsteps. We do that by paying attention and practicing. The journey can be smooth even through the toughest terrain.

God gives us directions and He’s given us a good Leader to follow. Thank God for good directions and turnip greens. 🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. Psalm 23:1 Worship Him in His splendor and His majesty! Thank Him for the family He placed you in and the friends He’s allowed you to meet. Praise ye, the Lord! Hallelujah!



Blogger Notes: Thank you Donna for your insightful message. Let us continue looking for pearls wherever we are blessed to find them. I received a note from Donna this morning after she woke and said that she realized that both she and her sister wore pearls to their Mom’s funeral.

Vicki Vaughn Nugent and Donna Vaughn Childre



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(C) Copyright 2012-2019 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location if known for credit reference.



LIFE’S STRAND OF PEARLS is an interesting blog post seeing life through a simple strand of lustrous pearls. I first posted this as one of my initial blog messages but have reached in the vault of over a thousand posts. It is still a favorite and I hope you will feel the symbolism. Please join me and share the blog with others. #blog #amwriting #lifelesson #pearls



Once in a while I will reach into my vault of my blog posts and pull out one of my favs. This one has a sentimental pull since I love pearls. Recently, several events have tried to deny me my pearl but I keep hanging in there with the belief, Life is a strand of pearls and some of the ones to be added to my strand are struggling to mature to the maximum beauty. I should be patient as we have no control on the timing. Good things come to those who wait. Here is the post I love and I hope it has meaning for you too. This was prior to me moving the blog to WordPress and we are still building our audience. 

TODAY THE WORDS are LIFE’S STRAND OF PEARLS.  In anticipation of reaching an important goal for the blog of 150,000 page views, I went back to my log of posts and found this one. I thought we might enjoy some pearly whites this morning.

For most of you who know me, you already know how I love pearls. I have worn pearls and they have always given me such a warm feeling when I have them on. I will notice in photos of anyone that has a pearl necklace, earrings or brooch (for any youngsters that is a pin). What I would like to share is the thought behind pearls. A dear friend of mine has told me many times, “there’s your pearl” when something good happened. He would also say when he was giving me great advice, “here is a little pearl”. One day, when I was about to put one of my strands, I took a long look at it, realizing the importance of message it was portraying.
Let me share this with you. Pearls are grown in a hard shell (and really few of us look at an oyster shell as pretty like we look at other shells). It may take up to 20 or more years to bring a pearl to full size so a lot of time goes into the process. Pearls in their natural state aren’t the finished pearl we see in the strands as they are polished and by this process, it brings out their true luster. If you take the time and look closely, pearls are still unique and usually no two are exactly the same. As beautiful as pearls are, they can be beautiful with others or beautiful on their own. Pearls are usually a gift given by someone who loves them dearly.
Now for the deeper thought……have you thought about the clasp? As beautiful as the strand of pearls are, without the clasp to hold it all together, the pearls would fall to the ground It is the most important part of the necklace and here is how I see pearls. Pearls are our different stages of our life. When we are young, we are the pearls being nurtured in our shell surrounded by a hard protective cover (our parents). After a while, we are plucked into our adult lives. We can be successful on our own or part of a collection (company). We have strength and luster; but are fragile if not connected by a strong clasp (God). We can add other pearls (spouses, children, friends, and grandchildren) to our strand and people like to enjoy our pearls. God will hold our lives together and the clasp needs to be checked to make sure it closed securely (our faith). Next time you see a strand of pearls, take a deep look at it. God gives us the freedom to build a beautiful strand of pearls of life with all of its beauty and luster but He wants us to keep our pearls safe, protected and loved.
Blogger’s note: I had a thought this morning to add to this post. As times have changed and styles too, not as many people wear pearls. I wondered that even though change is sometimes good, have we taken a route of easy to acquire beads and metals as well as fast food, and disposable clothes (wear a few times and they become worn). My question is have we thrown away our quality of life with those clothes or when we carelessly throw the jewelry into a casual place that can be lost. Maybe we need to return to the days of pearls and vintage clothes that last forever, treasuring each inheritance instead of wanting the instant gratification of I want it now and I don’t care if it lasts. Just thinking out loud.


Matthew 13:45 – Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls

(c) copyright 2012-2019 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material including photos is sourced to the original location, if known, for credit reference.



DAD’S POCKET KNIFE IS A PRIZED TREASURE is the topic on the blog. In today’s world we do not see as many pocket knives, but with some help of my friends’ posts and memories, we take a walk down memory lane on how this simple tool meant and still means a lot to many outdoorsmen and farmers. Please join me on the blog, and whether you have one or not, you might enjoy this message. #blog #amwriting #lifelessons #pocketknife #childhoodmemories


DAD’S POCKET KNIFE IS PRIZED TREASURE came about when a dear friend who has a lot of wit and the best sense of humor and sometimes on Facebook she shares some of the adventures she has with her husband. Faye Evans Paulk and her husband who she refers to as Papa, Jerome live in the country and she could easily write a blog or a book that would keep all of us in stitches. Maybe one day….until then I wanted to share one of the posts that inspired me to write about the simple tool that has molded a lot of our memories. After I post her post and share another blog post about what kind of men carry pocket knives, I will give you my take and memories of a personal nature, my Dad’s pocket knife.

Here is Faye’s post:

There were several comments, including mine, and it is easy to see the sentimental attachment to this simple pocket knife.

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Here are the comments Faye received. I find them so heart warming:

Tammy Wright Andy always has a knife in his pocket, too.

Barbara Day My Daddy always had his. The same one. Always sharp. I still have it. It laid on the same place every night on his dresser too

Bree Brown

Vickie Whigam ✅✅✅ thankful for my hubby & son, continuing this tradition.

Tammy G. Paulk I can ask Jim, you got a knife? He’ll say, I got my pants on, haven’t I? Lol

Martha Yeager My Daddy always had one. Church, everywhere. And he would sit in his recliner at night, with his whetstone, making sure that knife was up to his razor-sharp standards.

Sandra Minix Holton Kirby has always had one in his pocket too!

Arline Lott Miller One of the most prized possessions I have is my Daddy’s pocket knife as I never remember before he was bedridden, that it was not in his pocket. Same knife over many years. Thanks for sharing your story as many of us are thinking about our Dad’s or husband’s pocket knife.

Linda Standridge My daddy always had a case knife in his pocket. If you needed to use it you knew to make sure you returned it to him as soon as you got thru with whatever you were doing. I havent thought about that in a long time. I do remember when he had to get a new one it took him awhile to get used to it.

Joan Giddens My Papa had a yellow case and sharpened it in his rocker at night. My Mama Fender even had a case! Hampton always has his knife. I even have one my Mama Fender gave me years ago. A true treasure!

Kim Batten Smith That knife looks just like the one daddy always carried

Linda Merritt One time when Ronald went into the hospital I put his knife in my purse. He was never able to carry it any more so its still in my purse. I can’t take it out yet and if it gets out of place in my purse you will see me hunting till I find it. Men always carried a knife because they used them so much on a farm.A famers best Friend

Donna Hester Yep and Jerry had to leave his overnight at Memorial Hospital in jax, also his pliers…I know he was concerned about me but was WORRIED that he may not get his 2 most useful pocket items back. But he did!😂

Polly Guthrie My daddy always had one in his pocket too!

Gail Jowers I still have my Grandpa’s old pocket knife

Dianne Moore Roy always has a yellow case knife.He also bought one for each grand child including Emma!

Here are some comments from FB when I shared the blog:

Ricky Holt Absolutely a treasure. I have my dads & my son has my wife’s dads. That generation did not go anywhere without a pocket knife. Not for protection but for general use. Some of the old ones & worth a lot of $$$. But ours are worth more because of who own & toted them.

Glenda Hutson Anderson I love this blog! I have mine and like you said it is a treasure and I carry it in my purse!!


I also found a blog post which refers to The Kind of Men Who Carry Pocket Knives. You can go to the article by clicking on the title.


The Kind Of Men Who Carry Pocket Knives


Less than 40 years have passed and I am astonished to see how the times have changed since my father bought this knife for me as just a small boy. I do still have it, which by today’s standards is an anomaly. I’ll leave the discussion of our throwaway culture for another time.

Yes, this pocket knife has witnessed many changes in our society. Technology, communication, transportation, and even education have dramatically changed from the way it was just a generation ago. My pocket knife and I are neither quite certain if all the changes have been for the good. When I look across the landscape of America and take note of the differences, the greatest change that I see is in the people themselves.

Growing up in rural Northeast Alabama in the foothills of the Appalachians, I was privileged to catch the tale end of what was an era marked by ruggedness and self-sufficiency. I grew up around men that were willing to fix what was broken and take the time to do it right. My father was a Vietnam veteran and the product of growing up farming the hills of these same mountains where I was raised. He always carried a small pocket knife much like the one pictured. He had an affinity for Case knives, but would carry the occasional “Old timer” or “Buck” or even “Schrade”. One thing was for sure, that he had one with him, wherever he was.  You could also be pretty sure that his pocket knife would be so sharp that if you were to stare at it too long your eyeballs would bleed.   Now that’s pretty sharp….    The pocket knife was an important part of his life. Whether it was to slice a freshly picked apple, or to cut some twine, (coincidentally twine can patch most any broken farm implement until you can get home) he was always prepared. At Christmas time, my father always had his knife waiting to help open those pesky gifts that needed cutting open as only a father can do best.

My father was not the only man in my young life that I watched wield his trusty 3 bladed pocket knife as if it was a surgeon’s scalpel. My uncles, my friend’s dads, my bosses, they all carried pocket knives. I watched. I learned. I saw a resourcefulness in the these men, that is seldom seen today. For my father and so many others of a generation gone by, a pocket knife was an essential tool for daily life. The men who carry pocket knives are hardworking, do it yourselfers, who were raised to rely on themselves in nearly every situation. I have seen a pocket knife start a tractor, remove a splinter, slice a watermelon, carve a toy, and open a can. They have been used to clean wild game, cut gum/tar out of hair, sharpen a pencil, cutting fishing bait, and teaching responsibility. The list goes on and on. The uses of the pocket knife are as varied and strong as the men who use them.

I adopted this tool at a very early age as one that would always be at my side. A pocket knife has always been a part of who I am. So much so that I was almost offended when I would encounter a grown man who didn’t have one in his own pocket. I took it upon myself in my 20’s to start gifting knives. Sometimes to random strangers, sometimes to close friends. The conversation would generally start by asking if I could borrow someone’s knife, knowing full well that I had 2 in my own pocket. If the answer was a proud “why sure”, then I would gladly take the knife and inspect it for its level of wear as an indicator of how much work it had actually seen. Often paying a simple compliment as I return the knife. If the answer was that they didn’t have a knife to let me borrow, I would quickly reach into my pocket and deliver one to their hand along with a reference to the fact that every man should carry a knife. To date, I have given out somewhere north of 300 knives.

So, who are the kind of men who carry pocket knives today? They are typically utilitarian. They are the type of men who earn an honest living, work hard, and stand fearless in a world gone mad. To put it simply, they are the type of men that I feel this world needs more of.

If you find yourself in a tight spot and need some help, just ask the guy with the pocket knife. Although they are few are far between these days, chances are he can and will be able to lend a hand.


As a child, I would have been considered a tomboy since I loved going with my Daddy to the countryside and I didn’t have a problem hunting and fishing, looking for tracks in the woods. I would see Dad pull his case knife out of his pocket and use it for many tasks. He would use it fixing his old truck, used the end to hammer something in or the other pointed end to pry something out. I can never remember a time when we were on our outings that during that time, the ole knife didn’t come out at some point in our trip. I remember seeing him sharpen it with a stone. It was an essential tool for him and for me to have his knife secured and among my prized possessions. I think of my Dad always taking care of things with his trusty, dusty pocket knife.


This is not my Daddy’s knife but it is similar to it. Photo by Rhodons for reference only.

Now, for the final thought concerning this topic: In our lives, we are exposed to all kinds of things and items, the pocket knife is one. We are also exposed to all kinds of emotions such as love, hate, jealousy, hurt, elation, positivity, cynicism, criticism, pride, joy, and on and on. Just like Daddy would pull out something he trusted, we have to pull out the emotions we trust which are the ones that will get the job of life done. I choose to prioritize the happier and more positive emotions even though as Daddy had to deal with a dull knife until he sharpened his pocket knife, we are called on to deal with the dull parts of life but let’s pull out the sharpening stone and move ourselves into a sharpened awareness of life.

LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by sharpening our talents and emotions to receive the very best life has to offer.

(C) Copyright 2012-2019 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material including photos are sourced if known to original location for credit reference.



MAYBE I WILL, MAYBE I WON’T engulfs the topic with excerpts on weighing out good or bad decisions. I feel once we have gotten good at making ‘good’ decisions, we find ourselves capable of making quicker decisions that sometimes are necessary to a productive life. Please join me on the blog and share with others. #blog #amwriting #lifelessons #decisionmaking