ALL ABOUT OUR MAIN PROGRAM, PEARLS JOURNEY!
This is our most important program and what our entire organization is built around. *Thanks to our intern, Morgan, for creating this beautiful creative visual for The Pearls Journey.
This is a very detailed page for those looking to understand:
START YOUR PEARLS JOURNEY!
"Come on a journey and discover how to live your life whole, free and shining for others! You won’t be disappointed!" _Jim Burns, president HomeWord
Our founder, Christina DiMari, wrote an innovative and interactive curriculum that mentors girls how to connect with God, experience freedom, discover their identity, pursue their God-given dreams & purpose and explore creative ways how their life can make a difference in their community and world in a way that points others to Life. It is a blend of spiritual formation and practical life-coaching guiding girls to take time to process each lesson and create answers that are meaningful to each one individually.
Cultivating Pearls takes girls and women on a Journey through seven programs using the acronym of P.E.A.R.L.S., allowing young women to experience deep transformation and be cultivated into a beautiful pearl by discovering the rhythm of walking with God in every area of life; spiritually, mentally, emotionally, relationally and physically.
Purified in The River of the Water of Life.
Loved. Accepted. Forgiven. Whole. New.
Empowered in The Light of Christ.
Evaluate. Friendships. Boundaries. Courage. Freedom.
Anointed with God's Blessing.
Identity. Blessing. Valued. Believe. Peace.
Rooted in God's Perfect Love.
Truth. Nourished. Healthy. Strong. Confident.
Life...and filled with Life to...
Dream. Explore. Discover. Fruitful. Covenant.
Shine for others!
Flourish. Creative. Unique. Giving. Beautiful!
THE MEANING OF A PEARL
When a single grain of sand enters into the living membrane of an oyster, it causes the oyster conflict and irritation. The oyster’s reaction is to continually coat it with a substance called nacre, eventually transforming the grain of sand into a beautiful pearl. The pearl symbolizes deep inner change that now shines with beauty outward to the world. The Latin word for pearl literally means "unique," attesting to the fact that no two pearls are identical. You and I are like that grain of sand when we come to God. He receives us as we are, then covers us with His grace and refines us by the truth of His Word. Through that process, He creates something of beauty in us that, each in our own unique and creative way, reflects who He is to the world around us.
QUOTE FROM ELIZABETH, one of the girls on our team.
Pearls Journey encourages the process of spiritual formation and walks girls through the process of discovering how to walk with God in an intimate way. It teaches them how to self-evaluate and, with a willing and open heart, how to allow God into all areas of their hearts. The journaling process creates a safe and open place to meet God, and the act of drawing and writing prayers helps girls formulate what they are feeling and express it in a concrete way. It is a journey with God, not just a formula of 'do this and do that and say this prayer and read this verse and, ta-da, you’re done.' It is learning how to communicate with our Father, to understand the fact that He is an inexhaustible river of water and life and He desperately desires to feed our souls and purify us for His glory so we can reflect His love to our world!
IS THIS A BIBLE STUDY?
No. When you go to a Bible Study you are studying the Bible.
WE CALL IT "PEARLS JOURNEY"
Pearls Journey focuses on each girls personal Life Journey and helps each girl discover how to apply the beauty and truth of God's Word and Love to every aspect of her life.
DO I NEED TO BE CREATIVE?
From Christina: I believe we are ALL creative because we are born in the image of our Creator God. However, this creativity comes out of us is unique ways. I like to cultivate an environment to draw this out in each girl however they are naturally wired and also encourage them to explore new areas that are not as natural.
For instance, after I share a lesson and ask the girls to creatively express how they feel and think about the lesson, one may write a prayer, another may draw a picture. After I see what naturally comes out of them, I encourage them to explore what else they can add. If they only used words I encourage them to add a simple sketch or drawing that brings to life what they wrote. If they drew a picture, I encourage them to explore what words they can add either in a prayer or a sentence or two defining what they drew. I then encourage them to add a scripture that summarizes their page. I ask them to think about what color they are using and be sure the colors also portray their thoughts and emotions. In addition, we have a creative table full of fun papers and stickers. When the girls feel like they don't know what to do they are encouraged to choose a few things from the creative table they are drawn to. With just a a tad bit of coaching even those who are not sure what to do get in their creative flow pretty quickly.
When we write our thoughts we are primarily using our mind. When we take time to think about a picture that represents what we are thinking we tap into our heart. That is why I ask the girls to write and draw. This is not about art. It is all about using the creative form to tap into their minds and hearts. This helps them not only know God's Word but know how they are allowing His Word to shape their hearts which flows into all the pieces of their lives.
AN INVITATION TO COME TO THE RIVER
The River of Life
Then the angel showed me THE RIVER of the water of life, pure as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, THE TREE OF LIFE with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The LEAVES of the tree were for the HEALING of the nations. -Revelation 22:1-2
An Invitation to Come
The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. - Revelation 22:17
A Story to Share
Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”
PEARLS JOURNEY HELPS YOU RESPOND
We teach girls/women how to respond to this invitation and come to the river and receive what they need for wherever they are on their journey. We then equip the girls to root their life at this river like a tree and consider how everything they have experienced and learned can become the leaves of their tree that will be the healing for the nations & bring love & life to others!
TOOLS FOR LIFE!
If you teach a girl a rule, you help her solve a problem. If you teach a girl to walk with God and discover her identity you help her solve the rest of her life.
We do not teach rules. We present lessons then ask the girls questions. We then encourage, equip and empower the girls to go on a journey to discover their answers. The work we do goes deep into the inner workings of their lives. The girls create something meaningful to represent what they have discovered and how the lesson is meaningful to them. This becomes a constant visual reminder guiding them on their journey of becoming the beautiful pearl God created them to be.
There is a deep rhythm to the way we teach that change how the girls learn. Once they are done with our programs, they take that rhythm into the next stage of their life and apply the same tools to where they are going. One of the main things we hear from girls is how this program has changed their life. Not just for now, but for the rest of it. It has given them a new perspective, new tools and the knowledge of how to apply these tools to their continued growth.
WHO IS THIS FOR?
Our Pearls Journey program is geared for girls and women of all ages who have a desire for spiritual and personal growth. This can be geared for specific age groups such as Middle School, High School, College Age and Women's Groups.
Our curriculum and spiritual formation book, Cultivating Pearls, is written as a guide to meet you where you are. Each girl or women, regardless of age or background, will be able to connect with it if you come with an open heart and have a desire to grow.
DO YOU GO THROUGH IT ALONE OR AS A GROUP?
Either way is fine. You can go through the book on your own for your personal growth or come together in community with others. If coming together as a group this can be geared for specific age groups such as Middle School, High School, College Age and Women's Groups. Lots of girls enjoy going through it alone as a spiritual devotional. Other's really enjoy going through it in a group setting in the community of other girls.
WHAT GIRLS HAVE SAID
When we asked several girls to sum up their journey through the book, Cultivating Pearls, this is what they said: Healed. Changed. Restored. New Life. Inspirational. Faith. Transformation. Forgiven. Identity. Anointed. Growth. Cultivated. Unforgettable. Love. Shine. Beautiful.
“Cultivating Pearls is the most effective book I’ve read and used for spiritual inspiration and practical life-coaching. It is a must-read and must-use book for any woman who aspires to have an impact on girls around her. If you are ready to step forward and reach out to other girls, then Cultivating Pearls is the perfect resource for you to use. You will be inspired and motivated to go deeper in your faith! I knew once I read this life-changing book that I would use it for all my interactions and leadership with high school and college-age girls.” Irene Neller, VP Enrollment, Communications and Marketing, Westmont College.
Jim Burns, president of HomeWord and author of The Purity Code and Confident Parenting, had this to say about Cultivating Pearls: “Christina DiMari is one of the most inspiring people I know. Her passion to bring a life-changing message to girls while helping them find true meaning is contagious. This book will help anyone who dares go on this adventurous journey of personal and spiritual growth to develop a much more meaningful life. I hope you start this journey. You won’t be disappointed."
START YOUR PEARLS JOURNEY ON YOUR OWN OR WITH A GROUP!
What you will need to get started:
FAVORITE SUPPLIES FROM HOBBY LOBBY
We love adding a variety of creative supplies from Hobby Lobby to our lesson time. See our blog for examples of how our team of girls are sharing samples of what they have done to give you some inspiring ideas. A few links to items that work well with the creative process while doing lessons in your Cultivating Pearls book.
CARDS & ENVELOPES
Great for writing prayers, thoughts, ideas. Any of the A2 size works well in the book. We also like the little square ones.
All the little pearls and beads we use are called Gemstones.
Choose all your favorite stickers! We look for things that are flat or not too bulky so after you create on a page it is fairly easy to close the book.
TIPS FOR LEADERS
If you are planning on gathering some girls to inspire them on their Pearls Journey, please take some time to read the following tips for leaders!
IMPORTANT PAGES IN YOUR CULTIVATING PEARLS BOOK TO READ
a7 Welcome Page
a8 How to Use Cultivating Pearls book
a9-a10 Authors Note
a11-a21 The Vision and Purpose of the book
a23 Let’s Begin
*also see end notes at end of book for more tips
FREEDOM TO CHOOSE
The main pages and sessions we guide you in will be lessons that all girls can approach and apply to wherever they are on their journey. There are over 300 pages of lessons. As the girls and women do the sessions on their own at home they can feel free to do the sessions they feel connected to and need. Some girls will want and need all the lessons. Some girls, depending on their experiences may not relate to or need all of them.
CREATE A SACRED SPACE TO MEET
Whether you are meeting at a church, a community center, a school or bringing some girls into your home I encourage you to do whatever you can to make the space feel sacred, special, peaceful, warm, cozy, quite and safe.
WHAT IF THE GIRLS MISS?
The lessons are carefully thought out to build upon each other. If one lesson is missed it is important to do on their own so they are not behind. Every step of the Journey is important as it all comes together in a beautiful way at the end.
THE USE AND RHYTHM OF TIME
From Christina: When I am leading a group of girls that come each week I usually have two hours with them. I make it feel like it easily flows from one thing to the next but in my mind I have a certain time line for everything so I make sure to accomplish my goals for them by the end of our time. It flows something like this:
GROUP TIME EACH WEEK
Example Time 4:00 to 7:00
4:00 – 4:15
Have upbeat worship music on. Welcome girls as they come in and let them talk with each other and have fun chatting. I have Trader Joe’s Kettle Corn Popcorn out on the counter. If it is a set group that comes each week I have her name on her own little tin container. While they visit around the island in my kitchen I make smoothies for them. This creates a fun and homey way to start and gives the girls a time to get their mind ready for our session time.
4:15 – 4:45
All music off. I have the girls keep all their food in the kitchen and ask them to grab their books and meet me in the area where we sit by the fireplace and pile on the sofa and chairs to listen to my lesson sharing time. By the time they get their books and settle in I have about 20 minutes to share the lesson. The girls are asked to focus and not talk while I am talking so I can get my lesson shared so they can have a full hour for their processing an creative time.
4:45 – 5:00
I put quiet peaceful worship music on and the girls spread out and have quiet time to “process” how they feel and what they are thinking about the message I shared. I leave them with a few questions to ponder. They think about how they would like to create something that helps them document and express what they are feeling and thinking.
5:00 to 6:15
The girls then spread out at tables or some prefer to sit on the floor and they work on the pages in their book that go with the message I shared. The Cultivating Pearls book is like an interactive journal. It has blank pages for creating their answers.
Important guidance during this time. I encourage the girls to touch on all five of these steps during their creative time.
1. Express Yourself
3. Scripture Verse
6. Date the page
1. Express Yourself
After I share the lesson and visual time with a worship song I encourage the girls to express themselves in whatever flows. Some may draw a picture, write a poem, write out a scripture verse, a create something from our supplies. This is an important time for them to feel free to do whatever is naturally flowing from them.
I then encourage the girls to explore what else they can add to their page. If they drew a picture, what words can they add? If the page is mostly words, what drawing or creative element can they add?
3. Scripture Verse
Each lesson is loaded with scripture verses that go with each lesson. Ask the girls to choose at least one verse that really speak to them about what they feel God is speaking to them.
I then ask the girls to look at their page and ask, "what is a symbol that can sum up your page?" For example, if the page is speaking to them about Identity one girl may choose a mirror. I ask them to come up with one symbol from nature or whatever comes to them. They add that by either finding a sticker in our creative supplies or they can sketch one and put it somewhere on the page...or include it in their prayer in the next step.
5. A Prayer
The next step is to take some time to write out a prayer to God talking to Him about everything they have on their heart related to what is on their page. Then think about what God may be speaking to their hearts as well. These prayers can be added to the page or put in an envelope and sealed for privacy. I encourage the girls in my group to keep their prayers private between them and God and seal them in an envelope and put the envelope somewhere on the page or the page next to it. See photos on our Facebook page for lots of examples of this. Look in our photos.
6. Date the page
The words can be 90% and a drawing 10% or vise versa. It doesn't matter how they do it but including these elements helps them process in different parts of their brain and heart. I also encourage the girls to write all personal items on cards and put inside envelopes and seal them with a special sticker. That way they can feel comfortable sharing some of their pages while still being private in parts that are not for anyone but themselves and God.
6:15 to 6:45
Share time with closing prayer
6:45 to 7:00
PEARLS JOURNEY RETREATS
We create private Pearl Journey River Retreats in Breckenridge, CO. We also host smaller retreats for local friends in the Fort Collins, CO area. Each retreat is customized for your particular group so we do not have set prices listed. We work this out with each group interested based on the ages, size and what your goals are. These are for:
PEARLS JOURNEY OUTREACH
Each year we donate Pearls Journey Gift Sets to girls of a variety of ages, cultures and experiences. Some of the girls we reach out to need encouragement and hope as they go through intensive treatment for an illness and have extended hospital stays. Other girls need the tools to heal, restore and flourish for a variety of challenges they have faced. Some of the girls we reach simply need the tools to learn how to connect with God and grow in their relationship with him.
Read more about Pearls Outreach!