Rachel Hauck

Best-selling author and award winning author Rachel Hauck lives in central Florida with her husband and loving pets. She earned a B.A. degree in Journalism from Ohio State University and spent seventeen years in the corporate software world before leaving to write full time. Rachel loves to teach and mentor writers.

She is a Book Therapist at www.MyBookTherapy.com, a daily craft blog and community for writers. In the past, Rachel is the president of American Christian Fiction Writers and now servers on the Advisor Board. Visit her blog and web site at www.rachelhauck.com.


Mother Of Pearl

What comes to mind when you hear mother-of-pearl? I picture an antique brooch or some shiny, pearly trim on a jewelry box or a musical instrument.

The word “old-fashioned” comes to mind. When I put jewelry on my Christmas list, a mother-of-pearl piece is the last thing on my mind. In fact, it’s not even on my mind.

Lately, I became educated on the beauty and value of mother-of-pearl, or nacre (NAY-kur.) The inner lining of the shells of abalone, mussels, and certain other mollusks is treasured for its iridescent beauty and amazing toughness.

“You can go over it with a truck and not break it; you will crumble the outside of the shell but not the nacre inside,” says Pupa Gilbert, a physicist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Tough and beautiful. Now you’re talking. Sounds like someone I know well. But I digress.

When you think of tough, beautiful fiction, what comes to mind? Heart-gripping characters and stories that stayed with you long after you read the last word on the last line?

I’ve read a lot of stories with staying power. I’m sure you have also. But the stories with a “mother-of-pearl” beauty are those lingering stories, ones you want to read again.

A few years ago I read Annette Smith’s A Bigger Life. To me, a mother-of-pearl story.

Smith tells the story of Joel, an unwitting single dad who winds up remarried to the wife he loves only shortly before her death from cancer.

It’s the story of soap operas, but Smith combines elegant, compassionate storytelling with the fragrance of Jesus to pen a story to last. At the very least, it begs to be shared with others.

I sighed reading the last line, weepy eyed. The story delivered a satisfactory ending to a tragic event. Smith highlighted the beauty of forgiveness and the hope of second chances. I found myself rooting for characters who existed in only her imagination and mine.

Even further, I felt inspired to love more, give of myself, not to let misunderstanding get in the way of a valued relationship.

Robin Jones Gunn’s latest Sisterchick novel, Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes is another book filled with “pearly” wisdom: “Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today.”

An abnormal result from a medical test launches Summer Finley across the Atlantic to Amsterdam, where she meets her longtime best friend and pen pal, Noelle Van Zandt—for the first time.

This book reminds us how easy it is to get caught up in the day-to-day, being needed, wanting to “do” rather than to “be,” and never going for the small dreams.

How many of us say, “I’m going to do that someday?”

We live adventure through fiction. But sometimes we need the principles of the stories applied to our own lives.

What’s your “someday” goal? Drawing closer to family and friends? To Jesus? Reading the Bible all the way through? Getting up earlier for prayer? Finishing the manuscript you started during grad school? Running a marathon?

A few years ago, I’d made several pledges to God about things I intended to do in an effort to trim my life with the nacre of Jesus. But I failed. My willing spirit was unable to overcome my weak flesh.

As I sat in a cycling class one afternoon, I heard so clearly in my heart, “You’re becoming like the servant who said he’d go but never did.”

I about fell off the bike. The idea made me sad and queasy. “Lord, I don’t want to be like the “yes” servant who never kept his word.”

The Lord’s pearly wisdom provided insight to my own weak heart. He’s gracious that way.

In Him, we’re tough. We can’t break, even if life’s trucks roll over us. But left on our own, we’re weak and breakable. It’s why we needed Jesus in the first place.

Fiction takes fragments of the human existence and bundles it into a believable and hopefully inspiring story, one in which we can rise up encouraged to live A Bigger Life.

Love Starts With Elle