Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Christmas Moment

Christmas comes in moments more than seasons. It comes in moments we feel love wash over us and sweep us up. It comes in dreams like Joseph’s where the line between earth and heaven fades into a vision of hope. It comes when common things take on new beauty and, for no reason, a streetlight on the drive home looks like it has taken on a haloed glow.

This year, the moment of Christmas came to me on a bleak midwinter morning driving down Charlotte Avenue. Several months ago, thistle Farms, the bath- and body-care company run for and by women who have survived lives of addiction, prostitution and violence, moved to the corner of 51st and Charlotte. The location is less than a mile away from St. Luke’s community center where my mom worked for decades before she died in 1997.

My childhood memories of Christmas are filled with delivering Christmas baskets and running the toy store in the neighborhood. The smell is a blend of the mulch company and other industries that I always associate with struggling families and my mom’s work. It’s humbling to me sometimes to think that I have ended up less than a mile from where she worked and I still smell it all.

As I drove down Charlotte, a statue of Mary sitting in a lot caught my eye. She was carved from stone, maybe limestone, and seemed fairly common. She was designed to look holy with downcast eyes and open hands. It was easy to imagine a hundred other Marys just like her, bought at rock-bottom prices and scattered around the country.

She would have never made it up against the high-end statues, but was the Mary made for yards and people who just want a reminder that hope is close by. As I drove past, I had a fleeting vision. I imagined Mary returning to dust and an eon of wind and water freeing her, reforming her back to her unrefined self.

There in limestone, in repose under the earth, her power to serve and save would be natural. Then, the image of all the limestone just beneath the surface of the pavement felt like a solid mantle of love holding up the whole city and beyond.

The depth and power of love was as big and solid as limestone itself. It doesn’t matter where we are — we are standing on love. I felt like crying or singing, and so grateful that for a moment Christmas came my way like a star in the east or an angel in a field.

Mary, the beloved who birthed our savior, was still cradling humanity as her own. All of us have moments of vision where sight is filled with grace and love comes down and sweeps us up in its wake. Those are Christmas moments when we can believe Emmanuel, God is with us.

The hope of Christmas lies in the truth that such fleeting visions are enough to carry us through long nights of hardship, injustice or separation.

Joseph’s dream carried him through to Bethlehem and into Egypt. Mary’s vision kept her faithful. The gift is, we have all we need to have a moment that inspires us to be more loving and faithful pilgrims, as we walk over the limestone paths ahead.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Celebrating With A Little Bling

As Thistle Farms' employees wrap up the end of the year, one of our new friends added a little bling to the celebration with beautiful pieces of costume jewelry from her own line of fashion accessories, Xovo Designs.

Each woman got a unique piece (including necklaces, bracelets and earrings) and were able to exchange with each other.

Following are some fun photos from the jewelry surprise:

Thank you, Cara! We are so grateful for your generosity and adding a little sparkle in our lives.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Saving Lives One Purchase At A Time

During the holidays, it's easy to forget the real reason for the season. There's a lot of hurrying, long to-do lists and last minute shopping to complete. As you choose your Christmas gifts, consider the fact that purchasing Thistle Farms products will actually help you save a life. Each and every penny spent on hand lotions, candles, lip balms and books go back into the program which helps women come off the streets and into sanctuary. Not only will you be giving all-natural and aromatically delicious gifts, but you will also be supporting the very women that make these products with love, by hand.

You can order online at, by calling 615-298-1140, by stopping by the Thistle Farms manufacturing building at 5122 Charlotte Pike in Nashville or by visiting one of our 140 national retailers.

From Amy, Peggy, Cynthia, Katrina, Tammy, Monique, Phyllis, Peggy, Terry, Val, Beverly, Angela, Tara, Tiffany, Chelle, Rita, Tasha, Doris, Gladys, June, Sherry, Yolanda, Penny, Karlee, Tony, Nina and everyone at Thistle Farms -- thank you for your support!

photo by Lindsey with

Musing Over Thistle Farms This Thursday

Muse Boutiques is having a Thistle Farms party on Thursday, Dec. 16th at both of their stores in Cool Springs and on West End Ave.

Stop by either location from 5pm - 8pm and say hello to Chelle and Tasha in Franklin (545 Cool Springs Blvd, Suite #125,) or Bev and Tara in Nashville (2525 West End, Suite #2505).

A portion of Muse Boutique's sales proceeds during this event will be donated directly to Thistle Farms.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Support A Graduate By Getting A Massage

Julie Lowery is not only a Licensed Massage Therapist, but is also a graduate of the Magdalene program (2006). She works at Body & Sole in the heart of downtown Nashville and is offering some great deals for the holiday season!

Massage and gift certificates are only $50 for an hour and $25 for half an hour. Buy 10 get one free. For downtown workers, Julie offers free chair massage on Thursdays from 9:00 am- 11:30, first come first serve. Deals are good through January 3, 2011.

Located at:
162 Fourth Avenue North, Suite # 104, Nashville, TN 37219
with free valet parking provided at the Courtyard Marriott

Julie is a graduate of the Natural Health Institute in Nashville, TN. She is licensed and certified in Tennessee, and a member of AMBP (Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals). Julie is also a certified nurse’s assistant and entered the massage world as another way to care for those around her. She believes massage is very healing for the mind, body, and soul, and strives to bring a healthy, therapeutic touch to the community.

As a compassionate person, her main goal is to reduce pain, stress, and greatly lower the need for medicine. She believes in a holistic approach and strives to learn all she can to help those she meets, incorporating deep breathing, stretches, and acupressure into her massage sessions.

Julie is an individual who cherishes life and the lives around her, and she wants to share healing through massage therapy with the community.

Congratulations to Julie and all of her success!

We'll be featuring other graduates and ways you can support them in the coming future.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Weekend Shopping Alert

If you are shopping in Cool Springs this weekend,
Thistle Farms will be selling product at
from 10am-2pm on Saturday 12/11.

Stop in to say hi to Gladys & Stephanie,
stock up on Thistle Farms holiday gifts...
and get a great pair of shoes!

545 Cool Springs Blvd
Franklin, TN 37067