**Editor’s Note: Occasionally we work with guest bloggers to share stories of beautiful life and hope. Please enjoy this beautiful story from Crystal Twaddell, who blogs at The Luke 2:52 Project.

One of my greatest joys in life has been living out motherhood.

Being there every step of the way to nurture my three children and provide for them and raise them up in the strength and grace of the Lord has been my most profound calling.

WomenHelpingWomenAnd I am drawn to this same calling in other women – to the smiles that spread across their faces and bring a sparkle to their eyes as they speak of their children. Smiles that grab attention and captivate with every gleam. Smiles that announce joy and happiness and inner peace at the beauty and blessing of motherhood lived out of a heart of love and compassion.

These are smiles that cross all geographic and economic boundaries. And these are the smiles that unite us all as women, as mothers and as daughters. They bind our hearts to one another, and cause us to want to reach out and fill the gap where there is need. Where there is no hope, we find a way, and when the way is not clear, we ask, and we wait for God to guide…for the sake of motherhood…for the sake of Christ.

These are the smiles that first drew me to Vi Bella, before I grasped the extent of economic challenges and hardships facing an entire population and before I really understood the devastating and long-lasting effects of earthquakes that left so many unable to provide the most basic care to their precious children. Having never been faced with the heart-wrenching choices engulfing mothers across Haiti – resigning themselves to take their children to orphanages because there were no means to care for them is too much to wrap my head around.

But what could I do? How could I help?

About the same time the stories began to unfold, and the mission of Vi Bella came into focus, I was given the opportunity to take a sneak-peak into the 2015 Spring Catalog by showcasing a surprise piece of the spectacular hand-crafted jewelry created by the many Vi Bella artisans…to wear it and talk about it and spread the word of how the money from jewelry sold provides a beautiful life for these mothers and their families.

Each day I checked the mail with a child-like anticipation of the piece I would receive.

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When the package arrived, I was stunned at the beauty! How these women, these mothers, these artisans could take paper, plastic and glass found littered across the poverty stricken landscape and fashion pearly, SpiritualNeedsshimmery beads is a mystery in itself. And knowing these beautiful women are now able to fill their children’s bellies with nutritious food and put a roof over their heads and make their communities a better place to live is beauty in action.

So now, I see behind the smiles of these mothers. I glimpse belonging and gratefulness. I see grace and joy as the gap between need and provision is filled. I see how their lives are adorned in the beauty of motherhood, and they are changed.

I see an opportunity to make a profound difference in the lives of these mothers. Even as miles separate, the mission to help create “a beautiful life” connects our mothering hearts, and I am changed.

And to think a simple, beautiful smile is what drew me in!

Marie Yolaine | Vi Bella Jewelry | Artisan Stories


Crystal Twaddell PicAn educator and team builder at heart, Crystal is an advocate of intentionally living outside of comfort zones as a means to unlocking hidden potential and experiencing God’s wild and uncontainable love. Mother to a professor, a worship pastor and a budding forensic scientist, her greatest joy has been having a front row seat to God crafting a legacy of faith through living out motherhood. You can connect with Crystal through her Blog and also on Facebook , Twitter and Pinterest.