Sunday, September 27, 2009

Principle 10: Forgive and Feel Freedom

The scales of justice weigh more heavily on the poor
and those who struggle in systems.
It has never been fair,
and the only way is to forgive at all.

We are called to forgive
all those who have harmed us.
We are called to forgive
all the harm we have done to ourselves.
We are called to forgive
all the people we have harmed.

Forgiveness allows us to move forward in peace.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Principle 9: Stand On New Ground And Believe You Are Not Lost

What we are feeling and experiencing is not a sense of being lost
but a wonder of discovering something new.

This is sacred ground.
We walk it alone, following the advice of others who have walked before us.

The prayer is to walk this ground in faith and trust
that the Spirit leads us towards God.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Meet Tammy - A Woman of Purpose & Recovery

“Hi, I’m Tammy – a woman of purpose in recovery,” is the confident salutation Tammy uses to introduce herself every morning in the Thistle Farms circle. Growing up Tammy felt she had little purpose. Raised by a single mother, Tammy and her four siblings grew up in public housing in Nashville. She remembers being surrounded by drugs, prostitution and gambling. Her grandparents gave her alcohol when she was 10 years old, and she was addicted by the 9th grade-- marijuana, cocaine and crack.

Her family noticed her attitude changing and her rapid weight loss. They knew something was going on and encouraged her to enter rehab. Tammy obliged and completed an outpatient program, but within a short time, she was back to using and doing the same things she had witnessed growing up. It was how she had been taught to survive: sell drugs and your body for money. Pregnant at 17, she continued her perilous life style, with the added caveat that now she had to take care of her daughter and keep a roof over her head. When her daughter graduated from high school, Tammy wanted to be present and sober for the milestone event, so she went through another rehab program. Within the year though, she fell back into her old patterns.

Finally, in June 2007, Tammy realized she was not the person she wanted to be; she needed to make a change for herself, not to please anyone else. She entered the Magdalene program and began putting herself back together again – including two hip replacements (taking only Ibuprofen for the pain!).

Tammy recalls, “Magdalene’s Lena house is on the same street where I used to buy dope. I actually watched them build the house. I didn’t know someday I was going to have a bed there.” Tammy’s job at Thistle Farms is the longest one she’s ever held, and her hope is that the company keeps growing so she can grow with it. Tammy’s advice to others is: “Believe that you can change and that there is hope. God’s got your back!”

Written and photographed by Carolyn Snell.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Principle 8: Let God Sort it Out

In community our job is not to judge or say, “I told you so.”
We trust God will sort things out,
so we don’t have to second- guess every decision someone else makes.

We are here to love one- another in most radical way possible,
without judgment,
and to pray that others can love us in the same way.

We give drink to the thirsty, food to the hungry,
comfort to the sorrowful, clothing to the naked,
and companionship to the imprisoned and dying.
We wash one another’s feet.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Principle 7: Make a Small Change and See the Big Difference

Sometimes the miracle of healing happens so slowly
that we fail to notice the great difference in our lives.

Most of the changes in our lives occur in subtle ways.
These subtle changes can lead to a difference that is
big and profound.

The difference can set us free so we never have to buy or sell
pieces of ourselves again to find meaning.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Penny For Your Searches?

Looking for a quick and easy way to help out Thistle Farms each day? What if you could donate money to women of Magdalene and Thistle Farms every time you searched the internet?

Well - YOU CAN!

GoodSearch is a search engine which donates 50-percent of its revenue to the charities designated by its users. Each time you search the internet using (and specifying Thistle Farms as your charity of choice), 1 cent will go towards Thistle Farms. Think about how many times you search the internet each day -- those pennies can really add up!

Here are 3 easy steps for setting it up:

2. Under "Who Do You GoodSearch For," type in THISTLE FARMS, then click 'verify.' (Thistle Farms (Nashville, TN) should come up!)

3. Any time you go to search something on the internet, type it in on the GoodSearch search bar and watch the pennies pour in!

You can also add GoodSearch to your toolbar or make it your home page. As long as your computer accepts cookies, you only have to add us once on the GoodSearch homepage. Every time you use that toolbar after that, we get the credit!*

*Note: any time you or your anti-virus software clears your cookies or temporary files you will need to return to the GoodSearch homepage and re-select Thistle Farms.

Even when you want to check out this blog, instead of going straight to, why not type in "Thistle Farms" on the GoodSearch website and donate a penny?! Every little bit helps. Thanks for your continued support!