Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Welcome In Person and Online

Friday, May 24th, marks the grand opening of the Thistle Stop CafeMayor Karl Dean will participate in the official ceremony and lead a ribbon cutting, then the Nashville community is invited to an Open House from 12:00pm - 2:00pm. The Cafe is located at 5128 Charlotte Pike, anchoring the corner of the Thistle Farms building that also houses our bath and body care manufacturing facility, and paper-making and sewing studios.

Our founder, Becca Stevens says, “With the theme of ‘a story in every cup,’ Thistle Stop CafĂ© is the next step in creating a community of hospitality and love that will nourish everyone who thirsts for justice as well as a great cup of tea. The Cafe has hired six residents and graduates of Magdalene, the residential program, which will help them become financially independent.” 

We invite all to visit us tomorrow between 12:00pm - 2:00pm or during our regular business hours of 7:00am - 2:00pm, Monday through Friday, starting Tuesday, May 28th.

We also encourage to help us promote our newest venture online, by liking, tweeting, sharing and checking in. You can find us at the following:

We are excited to offer you fair trade coffees and teas in our new healing space and appreciate you sharing your experience at the Thistle Stop Cafe online. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Four Days To Go: The Cafe Needs List

Friends -- we are SO close to putting the final touches on the Thistle Stop Cafe and are grateful to each and every person who has donated their time, money, skills and prayers to creating this space.

We are looking forward to opening its doors to the community on Friday, May 24th. We have a short but important list of things we need before we can do just that. Please take a look below and email Courtney if you can provide:

Again, please email with your donations. Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to sharing a cup of tea and a story with you.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Love Of Mother, Love Of Self

Often times, we take for granted the far reaching impact that mothers have on our individual and collective world. The relationship we develop with our mothers is the very first relationship we develop with humanity.

For Shana, a 2013 Magdalene graduate and currently a Sales Representative for Thistle Farms, Mother’s Day had no significance whatsoever in the past. She can’t even recall celebrating Mother’s Day as most of her childhood, adolescence and adulthood were spent doing crack cocaine alongside her mother. For Shana, the mother/daughter bond was established through drugs. As a means of survival, Shana used dissociation, a defense mechanism involving the breakdown of memory caused by psychological trauma. How amazing that our psychological defenses coupled with the soul’s yearning for self-love and healing can protect the heart, mind and physical body during times of sustained crisis.

The decades of despair, addiction, violence, and incarceration guided Shana to Magdalene.  The symbolic season of spring, renewal and finally, self-love was bestowed upon her. “Forgiving my Mother was essential to my healing, even though my mother is in active addiction. Although I experience fear she will die an addict, I want my mother to know that she is loved. Everybody deserves that.”

Shana is now the proud grandmother of her 5-month old “grandbaby”. She was beaming with joy when she made an announcement at the Thistle Farms meditation circle. “Three of the happiest moments in my life was being at the hospital the day my granddaughter was born, the day my daughter called to ask if I would like to spend the day with my grandbaby on my own, showing the great deal of trust that she had in me, and the day my granddaughter woke up from napping in my arms.  I thought she was going to freak out, but instead she opened her eyes and looked at me with a smile as if to say, 'That’s my Nanna.'" 

Shana and her grandbaby

This Mother’s Day, Shana is planning on giving her mother a special gift to honor her in a practical way. “I think she would love a pair of sneakers.  The last time I talked with her on the phone, she mentioned that she needed them. That would really make her day.” Shana had some advice for those with similar stories, “Trust in God, the power of prayer and LOVE no matter what.  Holding on to anger did nothing for my Mother or me.  Now, when she calls me on the phone, my heart pitter patters with joy.”

We are all reflections of our mothers. To unconditionally love our mothers is to unconditionally love ourselves.  May we as a whole heal ourselves, our mothers and our world.

By Heather Venesile, Thistle Farmer

Shana and her children 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Stopping The Cycle One Small Community At A Time

We are grateful for people who reach out to us from across the country who share the work they are doing in their own communities. Police Officer Jonathan Zitzmann just contacted us with the following story:

I am Cpl. Jonathan Zitzmann with the Madisonville Police Department in Madisonville, TX. On Friday April 26th, my Department continued a high-profile investigation regarding Human Trafficking and Prostitution of many different ages, 13 - 35. An arrest was made on a 35 year old female, who is being charged with six felonies including Trafficking of Persons and Compelling Prostitution. Many girls were coerced into selling themselves for sex and paying the madam for it as well. Madisonville is a small town of approx. 4300 people. Cases like this are not typically possible in small cities like this but we made it happen. I thought you might like and appreciate what are 12 man department is doing and I wanted to let you know.

More information and press can be found at KBTX and 

Thank you,
Cpl. Jonathan Zitzmann #205
Madisonville Police Department

Madisonville Texas may be a small community, but abuse, trafficking, prostitution and addiction are present there as they are in most communities. We greatly appreciate the work the Madisonville Police Department did to help fight the abuse of these young women, and the compassion Officer Zitzmann and others showed them. To end the cycle of sexual abuse, addiction and trafficking, we need communities to partner all their resources to help women heal. We can all make a difference, one small community at a time.