Unveiling Big Plans! {The Grove: Celebrate}

Today we’re continuing the celebration of Velvet Ashes 1st Birthday!  Check out our beautiful giveaway that’s going on and enter to win.

Yesterday we looked back on our first year.  Comments continue to come in as ladies share what Velvet Ashes has meant to them.  There are no words to summarize or describe it.  You’ll just have to go read the comments on yesterday’s post.

Today we’re looking ahead, anticipating and announcing exciting things to come in our second year.  But first, I need to pause a moment and shine a spot light on the incredible team that makes Velvet Ashes all that it is.

We have a new Meet the Team page, where you can see all our faces, find all our posts, and connect with each of us.  I want you to see who it is that pours hours and hours behind the scenes to make this place hum with life.

I want to say a word to a few of you…

Amy, thank you for being the first “yes.”  Thank you for throwing yourself, your trademark enthusiasm, and your wealth of experience and giftedness into Velvet Ashes.  You offer us the depth of your wisdom, all the while doing so many of the unseen jobs behind the screen.  Without you, Velvet Ashes would not be.  Journeying with you is a joy.

Patty, you don’t know how hard I prayed for your “yes” or how thrilled I was when you said it.  I knew Velvet Ashes needed you.  I knew I needed you.  You are a presence of empowerment.  We all want to hear what you have to say, so we can grow up to be like you.

Kim, I’m over the moon that you’ve joined our editors team.  Your presence enriches the lives of people around you, and we sense the richness we have here because of you.  Our editors team was feeling a need, and you were the answer to that need.

Karen, you make Velvet Ashes beautiful.  I don’t know how you do it, how day after day you continually create stunning images, capturing the essence of our posts.  You truly have a gift.  When I had to design just ONE image while you were traveling, I remembered how lost we’d be without you.

Jessica and Lauren, sharing Velvet Ashes on Twitter and Instagram adds such dimension and connection to our community.  Thank you for the time you give this way, for the people that find this community because of you.

And to our incredible group of writers, the ladies who have invested their stories,  who have written their hearts out, who have created the tone of Velvet Ashes; realness laced up with hope.  Someone once asked me how we come up with such quality content every day.  The answer?  You.

To all of you who have sent us your submissions, who have shared in the comments and in the link ups, we are honored by the gift you give.  You have made this place deeper and richer because you chose to share.  For those interested in submitting posts as a possible feature in the future, see our upcoming themes and guidelines.

So…what does Velvet Ashes have planned for our 2nd year??  I’m nearly bursting to tell you.

Here’s a sneak peak:

Interactive Map – Have you ever wondered how to find people living in your area of the world?  You know there they’re out there…but how can you connect?  Coming soon, Velvet Ashes will offer an interactive map, allowing ladies to share where in the world they are, along with their social media links, so you can connect with ladies you might not ever find otherwise.  I know…awesomeness, right?  Cheers to Lauren Pinkston for this inspiration.

December Giving Project- We believe the community that grows together gives together.  So often all of us are busy having people give to us, to support the work each of us do.  But this December, we’re going to leap out in faith and ask that the Father to meet a need through us.  I’m crazy nervous, excited and expectant over this one.

Have You Seen? –  Beginning week after next, Velvet Ashes will now feature a Sunday post (going live Saturday evenings EST) called “Have You Seen?”  In this post we’ll let you know what all of our posts were from the previous week AND we’ll be sharing links to other posts from around the internet that we know you’ll be interested in.  So plan for some rest and renewal while you cozy up for some soul-food reading each Sunday.

Velvet Ashes Live – That’s right.  Velvet Ashes is going live in Chiang Mai, Thailand February 7, 2015!  If you’ll be in the area, we want to see your face and give you a real hug!  Mark your calendars.  You won’t want to miss the afternoon experience we’re going to have together in downtown Chiang Mai plus some fun informal hangout time.


Spring Retreat … that comes to you!  –  We all know that by the time spring rolls around we’re all in (desperate??) need of some refreshment.  A retreat sounds fabulous, but there’s the travel and the time and the money… the list goes on.   But what if Velvet Ashes designed a retreat experience that comes right to you?  Can’t join us this February in Thailand?  How about we record it, offer you that and other rich resources then make it available to you right where you are?  Then you can take a day of personal retreat to experience the renewal the Father wants to give you.  Plus you can debrief the retreat with your Connection Group…

Because, yes!

Connection Groups are happening this spring!  We keep hearing how much ladies are loving their fall Connection Groups, how it’s become their favorite part of the week.  We hope to offer a record number of groups so that all those who are eager to participate will be able to this spring.  For this to happen, we need women who are willing to lead these groups, both our Skype Groups and our Email/Writing Groups. Contact us if you are interested in leading a group and/or if you want to be notified when registration opens.

Wow, that’s a lot to celebrate and anticipate!

Here’s to our second year, Velvet Ashes.  I think it’s going to be deep and raw and hope-filled as we continue to journey together…


So which one of these plans excites you?  Want to echo any of the shout-outs to our amazing team?

And what are you celebrating in life right now?  Come share, we want to know!  

This is what we call The Grove.  It’s where we all gather to share our thoughts, our words, and our art on our weekly prompt.  So join us in the comments.  Show us your art work by adding an image. And link up your own blog posts on this week’s prompt.  Click here for details and instructions.

Photo Credit: onlinejones via Compfight cc.


  1. Elizabeth November 13, 2014

    The Spring retreat that comes to me sounds AWESOME. I can’t make it to Chiang Mai in February, but look forward to a Spring retreat later on. 🙂

    1. Danielle Wheeler November 14, 2014

      I’m sooo excited about the retreat!  Next best thing to being with you in person (which someday still MUST happen.) 🙂

  2. Kristina Krauss November 13, 2014

    Wupiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!  I’m loving all the announcements! Sign me up for all of ’em. (Except for Thailand in Feb, a little too far and too soon for me) Thanks for all the work you guys have done and are doing. Congrats and happy birthday!

  3. Laura November 14, 2014

    Looking forward to everything, especially the spring retreat and the chance to chat about it with a connection group.

  4. Kelly November 14, 2014

    I’ll host a Spring Retreat gathering in Kampala, Uganda.  Got a lovely group of expat ladies who meet together the 2nd Saturday of each month!

    1. Lauren Pinkston November 15, 2014

      Hey, Kelly! I’d love to connect with you! My husband and I are about to send our dossier to Kampala for a Ugandan adoption. We could potentially be there for 1-3 months next year, and don’t really know any people there. I was so excited to see where you are living!

  5. Tanya Marlow November 14, 2014

    I’m celebrating with you!

    it’s amazing all this website has achieved in such a short space of time. I was glad to be an early guest contributor in this incredible project. Hope you all get to celebrate this in style.

    1. Danielle Wheeler November 14, 2014

      Thank you, Tanya!  Your rich words were (and always are) a gift.

  6. Laura November 14, 2014

    I am excited about the idea of a spring retreat. Wish I could fly to Thailand, but I will enjoy a retreat in my living room. 🙂 And the interactive map! I don’t know any other expats in my area, and maybe there is someone in the next village I don’t even know about! It sounds like a fun resource. Thanks again for all you do.

    1. Danielle Wheeler November 14, 2014

      Yes, I can’t wait to see the connections that happen that happen because of the map!  And we’ll look forward to joining you in your living room. 🙂

  7. Colleen November 14, 2014

    Spring retreat sounds amazing and I hope life will line up for me to finally be able to participate in a connection group this spring. Looking forward to the future here!

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