The cheerful girl with bouncy curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box. "Oh please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please?"
Her mother checked the back of the little foil box and said, "Jenny, these pearls cost $1.95. If you really want them, I'll think of some extra chores for you to do and raise your allowance. It won't take long for you to save enough money to buy them yourself."
Her mother was right. After only two weeks, Jenny had enough money saved for the pearls. Her mother took her back to the store, where Jenny proudly counted out her money to the cashier.
Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel pretty and grown up. She wore them everywhere-Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or took a bubble bath. Her mother said that if they got wet, they might turn her neck green.
Jenny also had a very loving daddy. Every night when she was ready for bed, her daddy would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story. One night when he finished the story, he said to Jenny, "I love you, sweetheart. Do you love me?"
"Oh yes, Daddy," Jenny replied. "You know that I love you."
"Then give me your pearls," her father said.
Jenny was confused. "Oh, Daddy, not my pearls," she said. "But you can have Princess, the white horse from my collection. Remember, Daddy? The one you gave me last year? She's my favorite."
"That's okay, Honey," Jenny's father said. "Daddy loves you. Good night." And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.
About a week later, after story time, Jenny’s daddy said once again, "I sure do love you, sweetheart. Do you love me?"
"Daddy, you know I love you."
"Then give me your pearls."
Jenny was confused again. "Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my baby doll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is so beautiful. You can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper, too."
"That's okay," Jenny's father said. "Daddy loves you. Good night." And as always, he gave her a gentle kiss.
A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek.
"What is it, Jenny? What's the matter?"
Jenny didn’t say anything, but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver, she finally said, "Here, Daddy, it's for you."
With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's daddy reached out with one hand to take the necklace. With the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case and gave it to Jenny.
When she opened it, she found a beautiful strand of genuine real pearls.
God wants to give you so much more than you have in your life, but you might have to give up what you have to make room for it.
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