Are You Clutching Plastic Pearls?

By Martha Clouse

As I’ve considered topics for this week’s newsletter, I haven’t been able to get the illustration my pastor used in his sermon yesterday out of my mind. This is the short story with a message:

A little girl named Ruthie, around 4 years old, saw a plastic pearl necklace in a store display and thought it was so beautiful she had to have it. Ruthie brought her savings with her next time she want to the store with her mom and spent all of $2.25 on the necklace.

Ruthie loved the necklace and wore it everyday, everywhere she went. Her mother had to move it aside to wash her neck during her bath. Ruthie must have worn that necklace for 3 months straight.

One night, the little girl’s father was tucking her into bed. “I love you, Ruthie,” he said. “Do you love me?”

“Oh yes, Daddy, I love you!”

“Would you give me your pearls?” he asked.

“Oh no, Daddy, I can’t give you my pearls. I would give you my doll house and everything in it,” Ruthie cried.

“That’s OK, Ruthie. Goodnight and sleep well,” he said as he turned out the light.


Over the next few weeks, Ruthie’s father asked the same questions several times – Do you love me? Will you give me your pearls? – with the same answer. Ruthie would gladly give anything except the pearls to show her love for her father.


One night Ruthie was waiting on her father with a sad expression. Before he could ask why she was sad, she caught his hand and put her necklace in it. “I love you so much, Daddy. You can have my pearls.”

Her father hugged her with tears in his eyes. Then he said, “I love you, too, Ruthie, and want you to have this.” He pulled a long slender jewelry box from his pocket. When Ruthie opened it, her eyes opened wide. Inside was a real pearl necklace for her very own.


The original message was that the omniscient, caring Creator God wants to give us good things, but we may have to let go of lesser things first.


The more I think about this parable (a story with a message), the more I can identify with Ruthie. I want to hold onto:

  • The accolades I earned that show how good I once was at school/job/sports
  • Unfinished projects that I will never get to but don’t want to admit defeat
  • Leftover drafts and other obsolete souvenirs of a project I did complete that took days/weeks of concentrated effort (that’s a chunk of my life sitting there!)
  • Slights and grudges I can recount from years past (the perpetrator has definitely moved on)
  • Equipment and supplies for a hobby I have outgrown
  • The less-than-perfect way of life I know rather than the unknown possibilities

In order to move forward, there are some attitudes, feelings, fears, and other baggage I will have to chuck out the window.


What is the “plastic pearl necklace” you are holding on to? What would you rather experience in its place? We can only love others as much as we love ourselves. Let go of that ratty, fake, stringy thing and truly value yourself by opening your life to the possibilities!


About the Author

Martha Clouse is founder of Organized For Life, a professional organizing company.  From her experience moving 11 times in 20 years as a military wife, Martha shares with you what she learned “under fire” about coping with change, using time to your advantage, and how to create a calm oasis out of chaos.

To learn more about setting up rooms for maximum utility while retaining a spacious feel, the basic systems you need in your home office to guarantee productivity, how to save an hour a day consistently, and to receive access to the free e-book 60 Tips to Organize Your Life!, visit

About the author, Kelly

Kelly Galea is a creative, multi-passionate entrepreneur and luminary blessed with a unique combination of wit, grit, intellect and intuition. She helps you navigate the work-life maze of ever-shifting priorities and transform your life through holistic self-discovery techniques and immersive, fun and magical mini-quests. Working with Kelly will inspire you to unveil, express and celebrate your vital personality and lifestyle preferences to create a more harmonious life.

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