Oh my goodness!! It’s almost my birthday!!
(historically, my birthday sucks–I’m a melancholy, roller-coaster sort of person, and my birthday brings out the worst in me. a leeetle bit afraid of turning 40. in a foreign country. right after the emotional-ness of the 4-year anniversary of Gabe’s heart attack, and yeah.)
Anyway. HAPPY THOUGHTS. Because NO BIGGIE.
Today, my friend, Cheryl, is back with some wearable art created by her husband, Ryan. Ryan makes this jewelry as a way to support their ministry, Shalam.
(If you remember back to day 19, Cheryl shared her dream of opening a woodland sanctuary where people can rest & heal.)
I asked Cheryl to share a little bit about herself, so we could know why Shalam is so close to her heart.
I’m a newly turned 30 year old with a desire to help people and a love for the arts. I have faced very difficult trauma in my own past and want to meet the needs of others who may find themselves needing support while dealing with trauma, triggers, mental illness, PTSD, etc.
I always struggle with knowing how much to tell of my story as I prefer to tell it while speaking with a person face to face. Suffice it to say, I endured a great deal of abuse. Coming out of it all, learning to call it what it is, and to face the pain with Jesus in order to heal has been an incredibly difficult journey.
I am so very thankful for those who have helped me through this process including my medical doctors, counselors, friends, college professors (as things fell apart during my college studies), coworkers and last but certainly not least, my husband.
One of my now favorite sayings from my husband that actually grated on me at the time was “don’t give up”. At the time I would whine “I’m not”… but looking back I see that he correctly saw the initial signs of despair and spoke truth to me – I’m valuable, I’m loved, My life is worth living, Jesus has restoration for me…etc.
Ryan and I are passionate about restoration, community, art, beauty, sustainability, wounded souls and their relationship to God. We are passionate about bringing wholistic care to the world of trauma support. That survivors are given hope for restoration and the support to seek healing from God. That young ministers be given the tools to address their own issues and the mentorship to grow in maturity toward becoming pillars of strength in their communities. That rest would be valued and prioritized.
Thanks, Cheryl. I’ve seen firsthand how the beauty of creation can help bring healing to someone who has experienced trauma. Almost every day here in Cambodia, Gabe goes out for a couple hours (and sometimes the whole day) to meet people, yes, but also to spend time in God’s beautiful creation. It has been so, so healing for him.
(He wrote a really cool blog post about it this week. Made me cry.)
Today, Cheryl and Ryan are giving away ONE NECKLACE of your choice from Woodland Dream Design. I asked her to tell us a little bit about Ryan’s wearable art.
All jewelry made at Woodland Dream Design is lovingly made by hand from sustainably gathered wood. Each piece is a unique one-of-a-kind design. All stones are raw or semi raw from around the world. Our dressings are at one, both organic and elegant, bringing a harmony of style and beauty.
Ryan has merged his training in ceramics from Art School to his sculptural life with wood. Ryan’s passion for his art stems from loving how God grows wood over decades and leads Ryan in his interaction with it. Wood, with its grain lines, is an organic forgiving medium that is rigid and malleable at the same time and a blessed contradiction with the stones he introduces in some pieces.
All proceeds enable Ryan to volunteer as president of Shalam ministries working to support survivors of extreme trauma.
To be entered to win the necklace of your choice, head over to Woodland Dream Design’s etsy page, pick your favorite, and leave a comment telling me which one you like best & why.
For a bonus entry, like the Woodland Dream Design Facebook page or share this post on social media.
That’s it! See you back here tomorrow for a celebration of Gabe’s life! Four years ago on this day, he survived a massive heart attack.
We’ll be officially launching my new e-book and giving away some fun stuff! (including a $50 Amazon gift card–I WANT TO WIN!!) See you then!