It's Never Too Late To Start Over With Donna Cheek & Sheila Lynch From Glory Haus - Jen Hatmaker

It’s Never Too Late To Start Over With Donna Cheek & Sheila Lynch From Glory Haus

Episode 05

We’re wrapping up our “For the Love of New Beginnings” Series, and we’ll just warn you, episode 5 may involve a tear or two. Our guests this week, as always for the last episode in a series, are straight from Jen’s tribe. Jen had occasion to meet Donna Cheek, a designer at Glory Haus home furnishings, during a visit to the company a few years ago. Donna’s life had never been easy; from growing up in an alcoholic home, to battling with chronic illness and ultimately facing homelessness. You’ll hear what kept her going, and the times she almost threw in the towel, and about the moment that hands were outstretched to offer some hope (in the form of another Glory Haus Designer, Sheila Lynch) that ultimately gave her the chance to start anew. It’s a story of courage, resilience, and the resounding message to “never give up.”

Episode Transcript

Narrator:  Welcome to the “For the Love Podcast” with bestselling author Jen Hatmaker.  Come on in, and join us for a chat with Jen and friends about all the things we love. Now, here’s Jen.

Jen: Hey everybody, welcome to the show, this is the final episode of our first series of 2018, which was “For the Love of New Beginnings,” and I hope that you have enjoyed the series as much as I have. We’ve brought you all kinds of really interesting guests who are kind of helping us grab this “new year bull” by the horns, and wrangle it into sort of our hopes, and dreams, and goals for this year; what it means to start over, what it means to start fresh. If you’re a listener around here, you know that the final episode of every series is one that we crowd source; in that we have such an amazing community. This tribe is so strong, and so rich, and so diverse, and there’s a million stories from within.

So, we always turn it inward, going “who do we already have among us?” You know, not necessarily somebody who’s famous or really super well known, but has a story that fits, and so for this episode, this final episode of For the Love of New Beginnings, I’m really thrilled to bring you a couple of gals who I deeply love.

glory-hausYou may or may not know that I work in partnership with a company called Glory Haus, and they put out products and jewelry and home décor. It’s a Christian company, and everything is incredibly well-sourced, and repurposed, and this company really prioritizes people, and so I’m excited to introduce you to Donna Cheek today.

Coming with her today is Sheila Lynch, who have both become like sisters to me, and the both of them work on this subset of Glory Haus, with repurposed materials, and it’s called “Repurposed on Purpose”, and my line comes out of it.

Wait until you hear about Donna’s story. We hired everybody for this line out of MUST Ministries, which is a partner organization outside of Atlanta. When I first sat down with the Glory Haus team, when they said, “tell us about your vision for products or for merchandise,” and I said, “I need to be honest with you, my vision for a partnership with you doesn’t have a whole lot to do with profits, or necessarily even with a really developed idea on products or merchandising, it’s going to have to do with people if it’s going to be anything at all.”

??I said, “the only thing that’s going to get me motivated in this retail space, which is completely new to me, is going to be if it serves people, if it employs people; specifically women.” If it provides income for women who need it. Now that is motivating to me. If this serves as employment, now we’re talking.

?And thus began a partnership with MUST Ministries, where we hired Donna, who works on the line to this day.  So, Donna’s story is really hard, she had a hard childhood and she was homeless, and I’m going to let her tell you the rest of it, but it is inspiring, and it is moving, and she is so incredibly precious to me.  This is a story of starting over, it is. It’s a story of second chances, of new beginnings indeed, and of unrelenting, unwavering hope.

You’re going to be moved by Donna, you’re going to be moved by her story, and just so you know, her new beginning didn’t happen overnight, so for those of you listening who’ve been waiting a while. Donna’s story took years of hanging on, and of not giving up, and of staying the course, and so I’m so happy to introduce you today to Donna Cheek, and also to Sheila Lynch, who is sort of the lead on this subset of Glory Haus for this line and others.

So, you guys, welcome to the show today, and help me welcome Donna and Sheila.

View More

Okay, so glad, so proud, so happy to welcome my friends Donna and Sheila to the show, I’m so happy that you’re here, you guys. Thank you for being on this morning.

Donna: Thanks for having us.

Jen:  Both of you are so special to me. You know this–because I’ve clued you in–we’re doing a series on the show about new beginnings, and so I was thinking about people from my tribe, you know, the very last episode of every series we pull stories just from this amazing community that we already have, and you like rocketed Donna, to the top of my mind, because I believe that your story, your life, and your resiliency is the very epitome of new beginnings. I think you’re the exact sort of person that I really, really wanted to put in front of my listeners, and not just like this snap overnight decision to just reinvent yourself, that’s not the kind of new beginning I mean with you, but this long, slow process actually of waiting and hoping and working toward better things and never, ever giving up on second chances.

So, if you don’t mind, let’s just start with you Donna. For just a minute, tell everybody just a little bit about your background. Tell us about your family and growing up and then, if you would, your early years as you became more independent, and tell us what life was like for you.

Donna: Well, my father was an alcoholic, my mother was a strict Southern Baptist, I had a younger sister and an older brother, but my mother didn’t treat me the way she treated my brother and sister. She let me know every day of my life that she didn’t love me, and so I started suffering from depression, since I was about six years old. Very shy, my mother told me I was crazy or weird or I wasn’t good enough, so when your mother doesn’t love you, it’s like how can anybody else love you?

?Then I moved out when I was 17, and then after that, I just struggled with a string of men not treating me good, and never trusted anybody, and I always thought I had to do everything on my own. I never relied on anybody, it’s like if I wanted anything, if I wanted to get anything accomplished, I had to do it on my own.

Jen: Were you in a relationship at all to your siblings once you moved out, or no?

Donna: No, not really, because I think they saw how my mother treated me growing up, and so they treated me like she did. I mean, they still don’t want to have anything to do with me, and I don’t understand it, because if I had problems with drugs or alcohol or something like that, I could understand it, but I never did. I mean, I’ve always been very nice to them and everything, but they just don’t want to have anything to do with me.

Jen: Donna, something happened to you around 2003, which culminated in this massive life change around 2009. Can you tell us a little bit about what happened during that time, and sort of the moment where everything changed for you?

Donna: Well, I’ve always worked two jobs, I mean I never made a lot of money, but I always worked 80 hours a week, and around 2003, I started getting really tired, and kind of in pain, and I thought it was because I was working two jobs. So, I cut down to one job, but that really didn’t help. I mean the pain got worse, and I lost most of my strength, and then they diagnosed with me with Fibromyalgia, and then they diagnosed me with Sarcoidosis, and Spinal Degenerative Disease. In June of 2009, I just got to the point where I couldn’t work at all.

Work was all I have ever known in my life, like I said, I always took care of myself, and so I lost all my self-worth. I just felt like I was a loser because I couldn’t work, even though it wasn’t my fault, I couldn’t understand why this was happening. So, it was a miracle, I did stay in my house for three years. They kept wanting to foreclose on me, but you know, somehow, I was able to stay in my house for three years. But the last three months there, I had no water, no gas, no electricity, no food. I didn’t even have the bus money to go into the food stamp office to even get food.

I’ve always rescued animals. I did have a rescue group that brought me cases of cat food, every week, so at least my animals didn’t suffer.

Jen: How did you survive? How did you survive that season?

Donna: It was hard, I don’t know, I really don’t know, I just laid in the bed with pain. I had no friends, so I mean, I couldn’t get to the computer or a phone to try to find resources to help me. I was all alone. I had my Bible, I read the Bible, and I had my animals. Jen, I can’t tell you how I made it, I can’t tell you. Then in 2012, they did foreclose on my home, and I actually had two town homes, I lost both of them. I lost both of my cars, and I lost all of my animals, and with the clothes on my back, I got on the bus and went to a shelter down in Atlanta and it was horrible.

Jen: Did you have a case worker at that time, was there anybody coming alongside of you during that specific season saying, “let me help you get back on your feet,” or “here’s some next steps for you?” Or were you all alone?

Donna: No, we were given a case manager, and the case manager down there did, I think she took pity on me and that’s when she helped me get into supportive housing with MUST Ministries.

?Jen: Tell us a little bit about that, tell us about MUST and what that housing situation looked like. First of all, how long were you in the shelter??

Donna:  I was there for two months.

Jen: That’s a long time. So, at the end of two months is when she helped you find your way to MUST Ministries, can you tell us a little bit about that transition, and then what that was like?

Donna: I stayed in MUST for like five years and four months. I was so thankful to have a roof over my head, we lived in like a two-bedroom apartment.

Jen: So, financially you could have stayed in that environment, in that program, probably indefinitely, right? Like you could have just stayed the course, but you decided not to. So, can you tell everybody a little bit about–let’s go back to the very beginning of like your very first exposure to Glory Haus–and then your interview with Glory Haus, and what happened after that.

Donna: Well, I didn’t think I would ever work again to tell you the truth, and they told me about this position, and first, it’s like, “oh no, I can’t work,” but then I thought, “why not just go to the interview?”

Jen: Tell everybody just real quick who doesn’t know that are listening, what is Glory Haus? Just tell them a little bit about, or even what you understood it to be at the time. How did they describe it to you?

Donna: I just understood it to be a company that made like Christian home furnishings.

Then there was this one little department that they started with you, to make leather jewelry, to help women like me who are in transition, to try to get us on our feet.?

Jen: Yes.

Donna: I interviewed with Sheila, and I love Sheila, she’s my angel. Then, I had a second interview, and actually I came out of that second interview as like, “I’m not sure if I can do this, I hope I don’t even get the job.” It was like, “if I get the job, that means God’s telling me this is where I need to be,” but I didn’t think mentally and physically that I could do it. Sheila called me up and was like, “you got the job,” and it was like, “oh man, how am I going to pull this off now?”

Jen: Totally. Almost afraid of your own like success and rising up out of the ashes.

Donna: Exactly. So, I did.

Jen: Let me kick it over to Sheila for just a second. Can you talk for just a second, Sheila, about Glory Haus, about your position there, and really also your background too; because it’s super relevant, obviously, to this specific production line. Can you talk about that for a second? Then I want to talk to you about your first couple of meetings with Donna.

Sheila: Sure. You know, I started this journey actually when my husband and I started working in Haiti, and we started working there, and did that for a while, and I have this really weird kind of skill set that has this ability to repurpose things.

Jen: You do.

?Sheila: It doesn’t really actually work here very well unless you really are thinking outside the box.

So anyway, long story, great story, but Molly and I met at a Bible study and started talking about and dreaming-?

Jen: And tell everybody who Molly is, real quick.

Sheila: Molly Holm is the owner of Glory Haus, and we started dreaming about ways that sustainability could happen in developing countries, and how did that work?

?They had already founded Daughters of Hope, which makes all of our textiles here at Glory Haus, and so we began dreaming about this, and it didn’t really come together right away, but it was our dream.

How to create sustainability and how to make that happen. So, in several different circumstances that all came together, I ended up in the United States, working, and my kids and Molly and I were still dreaming. I was actually in Haiti, and she called me and she said, “Oh my goodness, I need to talk to you, Jen has this great idea, and it’s everything we’ve been dreaming about,” and it really was.

It was this dream come true of taking women’s lives here in the States, and just going ahead and putting together all the pieces that empowered them to start bringing that same exact kind of change into their lives that Donna has been talking about.

So, we put the work room together, and it’s called “Repurposed on Purpose,” and we met with you, and we came up with some really fun ideas, and so then we said, “Okay, let’s partner with MUST Ministries,” and we interviewed those ladies.

Jen: How many interviews did you conduct, do you remember?

Sheila: A lot, let’s just say that, a lot.

Jen: And there were, how many positions did we start with?

Sheila: We started with three, and here’s the thing about Donna. You know, I have worked in a lot of places, I’ve worked internationally, I’ve interviewed a lot of people in a lot of different places that speak a lot of different languages, but there’s something within a person that you just have a gut, you know, you can put all this stuff on paper, do you know what I’m saying?

Jen: Totally.

?Sheila: You can manage it well on paper, but people not so much, and so you have to go with that gut. And Donna said to me … I said, “Donna, what do you love?” And she thought about it for a little bit, and she said, “Well, the thing that I think that you’ll love about me is that I’m loyal; I’m the most loyal person that you will ever meet.” I’m not joking you, I was like, “Yep, we’re going to do this with Donna”, because that is something I can’t teach you. I don’t require that you know how to sew, I don’t require that you know how to make jewelry.

Jen: Although she does.

?Sheila:  She does, she knows all those things, thank you Jesus, and she does it really, really well, probably better than me.

That character that Donna has, I love and adore that about her, and that loyalty, that ownership, that pride that she takes in her work and what she does.  Let me tell you, she gets out of bed when I don’t even know how she does it some days, because of that, and I adore that about her.

And so when she started, she really said to me, “I don’t know if I can do this,” and I said, “okay, so here’s what we’re going to do. ? If you need to put a cot down, we’re going to put a cot and let you lay down and rest,” and she’s like, “oh no, no, I’m going to do this.” I’m like, “all right, here we go.” She does it, I’m not joking you, I think she makes me get out of bed, I’m not kidding.

?Jen:  You know, the first time I ever came to the workroom, I met you Donna, which was, a year and a half ago maybe. I didn’t know the health piece of your story. I didn’t know how much you suffered and how much chronic pain you’re just kind of in all the time, and of course, making jewelry, making our leather products specifically, it’s not easy. I mean, you’re sitting with small detailed work, bending over your work space all day long. It’s not easy on your body, but I had to be told, in fact, had you not told me maybe on our second or third meeting about your health, I would have never known.

You didn’t give that off, you didn’t appear to be struggling, you certainly didn’t complain, I had never heard you say a word, and your work ethic was so admirable, it was so obvious. So, between that sort of work ethic and that loyalty, you’re just a gem, I mean, you’re a real gem.

Let me ask you a question Donna, because you told a story about a prayer that you prayed about your long commute by bus to work at Glory Haus. Can you tell everybody about that prayer and the sort of unexpected way, honestly, that God answered it?

Donna: I lost my cars, so I don’t live that far from Glory Haus, but still, I was spending three and a half to four hours a day riding the bus to work, and home, and it was horrible. One morning, I left the apartment about 6:00, and was locking the door, I just asked God to give me the strength to ride the bus for just a couple of more years, I was hoping to buy a car by then. Just give me the strength God, and I came to work, worked that day, and Sheila, at the end of the day, she was carrying the box, and we went out to the parking lot. This is December 19th of 2016, and she opened the box and she took something out, and there was a bag of cat food there. She’s like, “Merry Christmas.”

I said, “Well, thank you, you know, cat food, yay, I’m so excited.” She’s like, “No, Merry Christmas,” and she kind of like, took a couple of steps away, and there was a red bow on this car.

Jen: Crying my eyes out.

Donna:  “You were being funny, oh yeah, you’re giving me a car for Christmas,” and she’s like, “No, Merry Christmas.” And I just lost it. I lost it right there in the parking lot.

Jen: I’m losing it right now.

Donna:  I’m sorry, I never even thought about asking God for a car, I just wanted the strength to ride the bus for a couple of years, and you know, like nine hours later, here I am with a car, and they still to this day, they still won’t tell me who gave me the car. I think I know, but nobody will admit anything around here. I still get in that car every morning, and thank God for that car.

?Jen: It’s so amazing.

Donna: It is.

Jen: Oh my gosh, knock it off. I knew I should’ve brought Kleenex up to my office. You’ve had some other pretty amazing things happen as well that have really changed your circumstances, really changed your life, can you tell us about some of the other things?

Donna: Well, my plan was to buy a house, but I wasn’t going to be eligible until this coming June. I had to be on my job for two years.  I thought, “You know what, I can stick this out, because people kept saying, ‘Donna, move out, move out.’” I was like, “No, I want a house, I’m going to stick it out where I was at and Molly mentioned to me about an apartment. I told her like, “No, I want to stick it out ‘til June, but you know what, I might just look at it.”

Jen:  “I’ll just have a look.”

Donna:  I said, “I’ll just look at it.” And it was the most beautiful apartment, and I applied, but there were obstacles, because the stuff in my past and everything, and after about three or four weeks, I wasn’t approved. I was like, “Well, I guess it wasn’t meant to be, because if God wanted me to be in that apartment, you know, He would approve me.” But I already had it in my mind to move out at that point, but it didn’t look like I could move out, so the depression really hit me, and seven weeks later, I was approved with Sheila and Molly’s help. It wasn’t me.

But the thing is, it’s like, I didn’t have anything, I mean, I had a rocking chair and that was it. I know, I need a bed and a litter box. It’s amazing how these people are, because I got a queen-sized bed, a dresser, leather sofa, a dining room table, chairs, lamps, rugs, I mean, and cash. And it’s like, it’s just every time I turned around people were like giving me stuff, and I felt like I’m Cinderella.

I mean, I didn’t have a prince, but it’s like, I came from the crack house to this beautiful apartment, all furnished by these loving people, and it’s like, I’ve told people thank you, and they’re like, “Well you deserve it, you worked hard,” but you know what, I didn’t do anything, I don’t deserve this, just like I didn’t deserve to get sick and lose everything, I didn’t deserve that. But everything wonderful, I don’t feel like I deserve it, I just felt like I’ve never met people like in Glory Haus.

Jen: They are special.

Donna:  Amazing, they just don’t quote the Bible, they do the talk, but they walk the walk, and it just touches my heart, and I’m amazed every day by the people at Glory Haus.

OK, you guys. Back to the show.

Sheila: I just want to speak to, going back just a second and talking about Donna’s new place that she’s got, and this is hard core, and I don’t think people understand what Donna had to go through in order to make that jump. You know, logically in our minds, we think “of course you want your own place,” you know, “of course that’s what you want to do. Everybody wants that–just, do it–why would you not consider that?”

Well, let me say here’s why you wouldn’t consider that, and why Donna could have chosen to be stuck, and I have to say, in today’s world, I don’t want anybody to be stuck. I feel like we’ve got so many things to help people not be stuck, and I think that this program, and this workroom is one of those things, but Donna had to make the choice herself. You know, I wrote letters for her, Molly wrote letters for her, we did those things to help her not get stuck. Donna had to go back, way back, into some really, really painful things; that led to her not having her own place.

She had to confront it, she had to say, “You know what, I’m just going to tackle this, we’re going to do it one day at a time, we’re going to write the hard letters, make the hard phone calls, ask for favor, we’re going to pray about these things, we’re going to ask the Lord to just like intervene,” and Donna walked away from her townhouses because of her health, and we asked the Lord that He would redeem those things for her. So that meant looking at those things that are really painful.

You know, that’s like hard core therapy sessions of, “How did I get to the place, I don’t want to go back there, I don’t want to look at it again, I just want it to be gone,” and I want to say to everybody that is in Donna’s place, that tackling that thing so you can move forward is really hard, but Donna found that courage. I remember she came in and she said, “I just want to tell the truth and do the right thing,” and she did it.

Jen:  Thank you for pointing that out Sheila, because that is a real moment of courage, and bravery. Frankly, you’re right, she didn’t have to choose it. You didn’t have to Donna, you could have said, “This is too hard, this is too painful, I don’t want to reopen this space, I don’t want to have to stare it down, or speak truth to power, and I think I’ll just make do with what I have.” It’s really a testament to who you are that is sort of the strength of your character and your soul, Donna, that you decided to do that. Because now you also forfeited that sort of financial security, you know, you said “No, I’m going to have my own apartment of which I am fully responsible,” and that’s scary too, especially after all these years. You are to be commended for that sister, to be in your beautiful apartment, and you do deserve it, and I won’t hear a word otherwise, not a single word, so you can just take that nonsense right into the garbage can, you deserve it, and you’ve worked hard for it. You’ve earned it with persistence and with tenacity, and with humility, and courage. It’s really and truly a marvel to watch.

Glory Haus is such a good home for you, such a good home for someone of your character, because not only–well it’s what you said–they don’t just believe what they say, they do what they believe. I remember the first time I ever came to Glory Haus headquarters, and we went back into that back room, and either you said it Sheila, or maybe Molly did; you just said, “This is where we have chapel.” I’m like, “What do you mean, chapel? Aren’t you like a product company?” And they’re like, “Yeah, but this is something we work into our weekly work week, where we worship and we pray, and we love one another and support each other,” and it’s just marvelous.
Can either one of you or both of you talk just a little bit about the Glory Haus culture and what it has meant to you personally?

Sheila: I’ll say one thing, and then I’ll let Donna speak to it, but I think you know, when you start a program where you’re going to mix a whole lot of really “outside the box” ideas, you need to be surrounded with people who can do that, and it’s scary for a lot of people. It’s like, “Oh Lord, what are we doing?” But what I want to speak to is who Molly is, in order to allow that to happen.

So, we had all been like, “Come on Donna, come on Donna, is she going to get her place, is she going to get her place? Like, come on,” and we were like making little jokes about dancing on the table, because we’re like “Come on, come on, it’s going to happen.” Well, it really did happen, and so, when Donna got the phone call, like, she high tailed it out of here and I’m like, “You go, and go get the keys and let’s get out of here,” and that night, Molly went and she’s like, “Well, what’s Donna’s favorite meal?” I’m like, “Well, it’s Burger King, I’m just going to say.”

So Molly went and got Burger King, and french fries, and what else? A milkshake. And she took Scooby–Scooby is our mascot here–who, Donna is Scooby’s favorite human. She took him and they went and sat on the floor of her new place and had a picnic, and had her very first meal with her.

I want to say that those things happen here all of the time. That’s what Glory Haus brings to the table; people who will actually walk it out with you, and it’s happened for all of us in many, many ways, but it’s that part of people who make those things happen for us, and for other people.

Jen: What a great example, literally just a perfect example. That has been my entire experience with Glory Haus from the very first phone call we ever had, to this very minute. Do you want to add anything to that Donna?

  I just want to say that Glory Haus is a business. I mean, the reason you open a business is to make money. But being here, they’re not here to make money, they’re here to bring people to God through Jesus Christ, and that’s their main concern, that’s what they’re about, and they just happen to make a little money when they do that, but it’s not like a regular business.  It’s just not about the money, it’s about spreading the word of Jesus. It’s amazing, you know, and I’ve been around Christians all my life, but I’ve never been around people like this. If I knew these people back when I lived in my town home, I wouldn’t have lost everything. They would’ve gotten me the resources, they would have had my back, they would’ve helped me. I just didn’t know people like this existed.

 It’s a true community, it’s not just a company, and that goes for everybody that has any contact with them at all. Just real sisters and brothers.

Now, back to the show.

Jen: Donna, just kind of through all of this, because you know, we’re talking about new beginnings, and I just feel like we are watching you in this fresh new beginning right now, and it is so thrilling. It’s such a joy to watch you thrive right now. So, through all of this pain, and this endurance, because you really stayed the course for a lot of years, and then ultimately sort of renewal. You just have a message, I guess, for lack of a better word, that you really want other people to hear and maybe hopefully take away from your story; can you talk about that?

Donna:  Just don’t give up. There’s so many times I just wanted to give up, I was so close to suicide. It didn’t happen overnight, it took years. And I guess if I knew it was going to take years, I may have went through with it. Just never give up. I mean, when I was in MUST Ministry before I was working, people asked me what my goals were. I had no goals, I was just trying to make it through just one day at a time.  And it did take years, but just never give up. You never know what God’s going to bring into your life, I never thought I’d be working again, I never thought I’d have a car, I never thought I would, have a nice place to live. I’m still scared, because if my health gets back to where it was, I would lose everything again, but I just have to have hope.

Jen:   That’s right.

Donna:  Like I said, no matter how hard it gets, just don’t give up.

Jen:  We’re so happy you didn’t, because you are our friend, and you are our sister, and you know what else you didn’t expect? You didn’t expect that your friend Jen was going to make you come on a podcast, but here you are. Here you are, and you’re doing amazing. I’m so proud of you.

I want everyone else to know that you are a sincere creative, you know, you work on my line at Glory Haus specifically, which is very leather heavy, the work shop has all this amazing repurposed leather, and fabric. You are actually a creator. I have several of your jewelry pieces that you’ve just designed and created on your own, and so, this is actually in your lane, you are doing what you’re good at. You are a beautiful designer, and you’ve got an amazing, creative eye, and so you’re really bringing your gifts to bear on this world. I know you know this, because you create them, but the things that you make with your hands, the jewelry pieces, the necklaces, the earrings, they’re worn by women literally all around the world. Just all around the world.

I just think that you are an inspiration, Donna, and you are too Sheila. Both of you women are precious to me, and you inspire me, and what you have learned to make both figuratively and literally, when you take kind of leftover pieces that other people say there’s not a lot of value here, or I don’t know what to do with these scraps. Yet, in your work and in your lives, you say, “oh no, there’s a lot of beauty here left. We can make something really gorgeous.” It’s like a metaphor, it’s a metaphor for your life too, Donna. You are just a beautiful, beautiful human being, and we are cheering you on in every possible way. I’m so proud of you, so proud of your resilience, I’m moved by it, I’m inspired by it, it strengthens me.

I’m just so grateful that you’re in my life, I’m so glad to know you, I’m so thrilled when I think about your hands making all these pieces, just what a joy, what a joy. Sheila, for your creative vision, you’re just as loyal as Donna, let’s be serious, you’re just as fierce. Like I want you in my corner for the rest of my life.

Let me ask you guys both this question as we wrap it up. My sincere thanks for being on today. This is how we end every podcast, by asking all of our guests this, and this can be as serious or as silly as you want it to be, you answer it however you feel like.
This is the question; what is saving your life right now? Maybe we’ll start with you Sheila.

Sheila: You know, my goal, my thing that gets me out of bed every day is that I just believe that we have a commonality with everyone that we connect with every day. That commonality is what helps other people not be stuck, and that just our interaction, our connecting, our sharing, our laughing, our being silly, our speaking life into people; that is what saves me, and pulls me.

There are women like Donna who I believe are life changing women who are so powerful, they just need that little bit of a platform, and they’re good to go.

Jen: Yes. Good to go.

  They don’t really need me, they just need that little bit of a, “hey, let’s do this together.” Pretty soon, you know, it’s like riding a bike, they’re on their way, and they are good to go. I think that Donna has found that space again, and she’s good to go, and she’s doing great. I want to be everybody’s cheerleader that says, “you can do this.”

Jen:  I love that, I’m with you on that, sis. How about you Donna? What’s saving your life right now?

Donna:  It’s the same that it’s always been, animals.

Jen:  Yes, I was hoping you’d say that.

 For 18 years, when I had my town homes, that’s all I did was rescue animals. That’s where my heart belongs. Because they love you no matter what, fat or skinny, rich or poor, black or white, they have that unconditional love.

Jen:  It’s just another one of your gifts on this earth, it’s meaningful, I love it.

Girls, you know that I love you both, and I’m just proud to be your sister, proud to be your friend. Thank you, thanks for being on today, Donna, thank you for telling us your story. It’s never easy to go back and discuss hard seasons and hard memories, and you’ve just done it beautifully. I just know that you have inspired so many listeners today with your really fierce and important message to never give up, you just do not know what is around the next corner.

So, thank you so much, both of you for being on, you’re rock stars, both of you.

Sheila:  Thanks Jen.

Donna:  Jen, we love you too from the bottom of our hearts, we love you.

Jen: Okay guys. I hope you can excuse my sniffling during that episode. Donna’s story moved me so very much and I love her so dearly.

So listen, couple of things, the Glory Haus squad, in honor of Donna and Sheila and the Repurposed for a Purpose crew said, “Hey, we want to offer your podcast listeners a coupon at Glory Haus, and so, everybody listening today, if you go over to, and by the way, H-A-U-S, very fancy, like German,, and we’ll have all these links up on the transcript on my website to you guys.

If you go to, you can get 20% off anything in the Jen Hatmaker collection, and at checkout, just use the code JENPODCAST, all one word, all upper case, JENPODCAST, and you can get 20% off your entire order.

So, what that does is it creates work, which as you heard today, creates jobs, it’s just awesome.

Donna’s not the only one in the workshop, there are amazing women in there rebuilding their lives, and I love partnering with Glory Haus, and I love partnering with Donna and Sheila and the rest of the girls, they are so precious to me.

So, one last time, for podcast listeners, you can get 20% off your order over at, use the code JENPODCAST at checkout and you’re good to go. Again, if you’ve missed any of this, you can go over to my website at, we’ll have the links to Glory Haus.

?I’ll put up a bunch of pictures of me and Donna and Sheila and the other girls, because now at this point we’ve done all kinds of stuff.

The girls were at my house in fact last summer here in Austin, and they are just so dear to me.

So, hey you guys, thank you for listening today, I hope you liked today’s episode.

?I’m super, super excited, because next week, we roll into a brand-new series that I’m not even joking, you’re going to love as much as I am, because we move into… “For the Love of Laughter.” You guys, we have comics, we have hilarious satire writers, we have some SNL royalty. I’m just telling you, if you like to laugh, if you’re a fan of comedy, funny shows, funny books, funny movies, funny people; this is your series. It’s going to be so much fun; it’s going to be so entertaining, and I cannot wait to roll out the most amazing guest lineup you’ve ever seen.

So, do not miss it. Come back next week as we roll out For the Love of Laughter, and as always, love having you here, thank you for being such loyal listeners, thanks for your feedback, thanks for subscribing, thanks for your ratings and reviews. We read them all, we care about them all, we’ve made a ton of adjustments based on your suggestions, so thank you. Let us know who you’d love to hear too, because we’re always paying attention to you. Okay you guys, have a great week and I’ll see you next week.

Narrator: Thanks for joining us today on the For the Love Podcast. Tune in next week, when we sit down again with Jen and friends to chat about all the things we love.

We love you, our listeners, so we want to be sure you subscribe to “For the Love,” with Jen Hatmaker, via iTunes or your favorite podcast provider, so you don’t miss a thing. And if you have a minute, please leave us a review. To become a part of Jen’s online community, visit and sign up for her newsletter. It’s full of all the things you love, including free stuff. We love free stuff!  Thanks for listening, and see you next time on For the Love, With Jen Hatmaker.

connect with glory haus: 


connect with must ministries:


  • of-mess-and-moxie-audiobook Text the word Moxie (M-O-X-I-E) to 313131 to get the first chapter from the audiobook plus bonus recipes.
Shop Jen's Faves

From exclusive, limited-edition items to my must-haves, check out all my latest faves.


Take a peek around

If you’re not sure where to begin, I got you, friend. I’m always bringing you something new to enjoy.

Read More About Jen