Cue the Intro Music…

As a mom of 4 I was used to getting attention for the circus that was anytime we went out. But this day as I pushed the grocery cart in the capital city of the country we were serving in, it wasn’t my swarm of children that drew the attention of the woman an aisle over…it was my accent. My Midwest accent, that to me sounded perfectly normal, but to her ears from Arkansas sounded like home. She made a b-line to my cart and that is how our friendship began.

Two women standing in a foreign grocery store, our combined children forming what I’m sure looked like dust clouds around us as they buzzed about, beginning what would be a deep friendship. And in that time and place, it was the best I could hope for in forming a community around me of women who were journeying together in this cross-cultural life. Accidental meet ups or sporadic introductions.

So when Ted, our amazing web designer, started casting a vision for what was possible in a membership site, our team was all smiles.

A place where every woman who joined was in a season of cross-cultural work.

A place where you could chat freely with them and not worry about words you needed to be careful about.

A place where you can search for others serving in your country or city!

A place where you can form groups to chat about books or spiritual formation.

A place that joined hearts and hands that may never accidentally meet up in a grocery store.

So we said yes. And for the last year we have been working to make it a reality.

In early January we will open the doors for you to become a part of this for the first time ever.  But the doors will only be open for three weeks and we don’t want you to miss out!

Here are some things we have waiting for you.

  • Members only content that includes crafts, playlists, recipes, book lists, journal prompts, Scripture studies and more all centered around our Velvet Ashes Monthly theme.
  • The Members only Velvet Ashes Book Club complete with monthly reading schedules, a live chat to discuss the book, and recorded author interviews.
  • Spiritual Formation content led by Danielle Wheeler planned for you each week of the month.
  • Chat groups for Moms, Singles, Prayer, as well as the entire community together!

We have options for you to enjoy this monthly content for $8/month or to choose our annual membership for the best value!

With an annual membership you get all of our monthly content AND all of the Velvet Ashes Retreats and Webinars we offer throughout the year. At $120 a year that’s a $70 savings off of purchasing everything individually.  And as an annual member you also gain access to all of our past retreats and webinars in your library. That is something we’ve never been able to offer before!

So to kick off our week of new beginnings we hope this is the beginning of many things.

The beginning of more resources made just for you.

The beginning of a community that you will feel at home in.

And the beginning of deep friendships that just may meet up in a grocery store someday, but it won’t be by accident.

You can sign up for the waitlist here to be notified of open registration!

Do you have any “grocery store” stories of accidentally finding community?

Photo by Ilyuza Mingazova on Unsplash


  1. Kim December 29, 2021

    I love this idea! I’m wondering if social media will be required to access the groups? I don’t have social media, but would still love to connect with others.

    1. Sarah Hilkemann December 29, 2021

      Kim, no social media needed! We wanted to have a space off of social media to connect and chat.

      1. Kim December 30, 2021

        That makes me so happy! Such a great idea. Thanks!

  2. JoyH December 29, 2021

    So, is all of Velvet Ashes and the book club going to be behind the pay wall?

    1. Denise Beck December 29, 2021

      Great question! No.

      The heart of Velvet Ashes is to provide resources and content to women serving cross- culturally. The membership community allows for us to do more of that in a space that encourages deeper community and connection off of social media.

      The only thing that will change for our free Velvet Ashes community will be our book club. All other content that we put out now will be available just as it always is. Our blogs and connection groups will still be available for free along with special events that we create throughout the year.

      Those who aren’t a part of our membership community will still have the option to purchase webinars and Retreats as they are released.

      Whether women connect with us and each other in our free community or membership community we will keep working to provide content to meet their needs!

  3. JoyH December 29, 2021

    Just curious…why is the opening only for 3 weeks?

    Is there a chance of a free month to see if we want to join?

    1. Denise Beck December 29, 2021

      We really want the membership community to have seasons of getting to know each other and then seasons of welcoming new members. It helps us truly get to know each other and feel comfortable learning from and with each other!

    2. Denise Beck December 30, 2021

      And yes! If you sign up for the waitlist mentioned in the blog you will be notified of special promotions like a free month or discount on the annual membership!

      1. JoyH January 1, 2022

        Thank you, Denise, for your replies!

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