Growing up in my Momma’s house, jewelry meant “special.” Perhaps that’s the reason I was so enamored with it. High on the list of all the Southern ladies in my life, jewelry slipped on right after lipstick was applied, and, friends, we wouldn’t dare go a place without our lipstick on (thus, jewelry too)! In truth, every piece of jewelry worn by my beautiful Mom has some special meaning attached to it, and the same was true for both my Grandmothers, Katherine “Maw” Nalls and Elsie “Mamaw” Lide. When I would comment on a piece of their jewelry, they would always share a story- a super sweet, sometimes tear jerking story. This, friends of JL PARISH, has been jewelry’s theme in my life from the time I was a little girl to a grown woman. Jewelry was and continues to be special, and it’s special because of the meaning it holds.
My Mamaw Lide wasn’t a woman that wore makeup or jewelry every single day. When she had to leave the ranch for town to run errands or attend church or visit a family member or friend, she would apply a minimal amount of makeup, nice clothes for the occasion and a large, handmade turquoise ring set in silver (given to her by my Dad). She was somewhat of a minimalist. Not that she was striving for that, it was just her style. So, when she wore jewelry or talked about jewelry, which was rare, it had my full attention.
A year or so before Mamaw passed, she said, “Jill-o, I want to give you something.” She went over to the built in server in her kitchen and pulled out a bag with something in it. When I opened the bag, to my surprise, there were two necklaces inside that I’d never seen before. One was a strand of pearls, graduated in size on silk with a vintage clasp and the other was a long strand of metal beads on silk. She then said, “My sister-in-law left these to me after she went on to be with the Lord. They may not look like much or have great monetary value, but if you knew the kind of person my sister-in-law was, you would understand why they are so valuable. She was a very special person.”
The things in our lives that reflect special people or sacred stories or treasured times hold such sentimental value. There’s a sort of power in them. Wearing these treasures evokes a kind of force beyond ourselves that elevates our style, but, most importantly, our spirits. At JL PARISH, we do special. We do style. We do spirit. We tell stories. We seek the sacred in the mundane. And, we celebrate it all.
Remember, just like the value we find in sweet treasures such as my Mamaw’s vintage necklaces given to her by someone so close to her heart, we are filled with an even greater value. We forget. In the rush and push of our daily lives, the good hair days and bad hair days and all triumph and tragedy in between, we forget our intrinsic value as human beans. We were created by and belong to God, you know, THE Creator of THE Universe. So, write it in your heart today and every single day that you are one of the most valuable and divine things on this precious planet. While you are here and long after you are gone, your spirit will paint the sky pink and touch the hearts of many because you are and will forever be “special.” And, the value of the impact you have had on those people, places and things that you loved will live on beautifully.
Now, if that isn’t a spiritual high five, I don’t know what is. As my Momma says, “Go, Fight, Win AND get some lipstick on those lips, I can hardly even tell you have any!” Make it a beautiful day!