Hello

Hi my name is Terilee Dawn and I am the photographer for the book ‘REAL’. Shelley Malcolm wrote all the stories, and might I say did an amazing job. Since this blog is new I thought I would start the first post I wrote as a introduction to who I am. In a sense I don’t really feel like writing a whole lot about myself since this project is in no way about me but all the amazing people that are in it. I feel honored that I got to be a part of something so amazing. To be able to celebrate what the world would call an ordinary life and shine some light on the fact that all these people truly are unique and extraordinary in their own way. As I reflect more and more on this project I realize that God’s hands have been in it in so many ways. He orchestrated the whole thing so all the glory must go to him. He uses the ordinary to show his greatness and I think Shelley did an amazing job reflecting that through the stories that she wrote.

The photos of the book come from my heart. I read a quote this morning that speaks volumes to my reasons behind embarking on this adventure.

“Our greatest fear as individuals should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter”  Tim Kizziar

I don’t want to succeed at things that don’t matter. And I believe the success of this project is for something that matters. I hope as people become more aware of the book that has been created that their hearts will be stirred and they will be encourage to see the people around them. I hope my photos along with the stories draw people in to see that they too have something amazing to offer. That their lives are important.

So in the end I leave you with a  bit of my heart not so much the randoms of who I am. Over time I am sure I will blog about everything and anything. But my hope is that people will be inspired by this project that Shelley and I have spent the last two and a half years working on.

“Richard understands the misunderstood. He offers hope to the fearful, desperate and suicidal. He know that strength and potential can recover from the most tangled knot. “

One woman’s Easter expression

Easter morning, after a well attended and energized sunrise service, I returned home to find a solitary figure on the beach in front of my house.  My brother’s dog and I watched as she carefully and deliberately selected large rocks from across the beach and carried them to their destination.  She was completely unhurried, completely alone and enjoying the quiet, uninterrupted time.
With each rock she would , yet confidently, move to the area where would place it down in line with the others.  As she formed a giant cross on the sand, it seemed to be done with loving intention.  Occasionally she would pause and examine the work she had done or even appear to be praying or meditating.  After about 20 minutes, she rested, at the foot of her creation.  It was her time to reflect and rest . . . on what the cross meant to her.
As tears of gratitude filled my eyes, I realized I could only guess what she had been thinking or feeling.
This evening at sunset, after the Easter Sunday visitors, the cross of rocks is still there, gently placed at sunrise and even now unmoved.  A reminder of great desire and love.

Sacred ground and chocolate

How often does one get to write about God and chocolate in one brief statement?

God knows what He is doing.

I love the Old Mission Santa Barbara.  As a child it was so regal, almost glamorous compared to its sister in our town of Lompoc, the Mission La Purisima.  As I learned to appreciate the history and “grand design” of the missions, I realized they possess a deeper common thread of beauty, and each has its own character that defines it and its purpose.  None is better than another, in fact, the Mission Santa Barbara has allowed me to love La Purisima, and the other missions even more… it has revealed the uniqueness of each.

I cannot imagine a more amazing place for REAL to have its first public display for sale than the Santa Barbara Missions Retreat Center and Gift shop.  This has been an honor.  Thank you to Sister Susan and the gift shop for their affirmation and support!

Tonight we realize our second  invitation to display REAL for sale is at another heavenly and sacred place.  Eve at Sweet Earth Chocolates in San Luis Obispo set the books  on display to our delight!  Sweet Earth has mission projects of their own,  their chocolate is out of this world!  Fair Trade and organic and perfection!  Check them out at:

http://www.sweetearthchocolates.com       Teryl and I had a marbled chocolate tulip with white and dark chocolate, raspberries and sauce!