Presley & I met through our church, and are fortunate to be in a home group together. I could not be more thankful for this girl's presence in my life... she makes me laugh so hard, she's refreshingly honest, and she is such an incredible friend. Just a few months ago, she started her dream job – she creates the window and store displays at a local Anthropologie! Presley asks the best questions in our small group, and is constantly encouraging me and challenging me in my every day life. She also had the brilliant idea to take her pictures for this post at the Dallas Museum of Art (did you know that general admission is free?!), and she shared with my her favorite pieces. It was really special :) I'm so excited for you to get to know her!
Tell us about yourself! My name is Presley Childre. People tend to add letters to my last name – they are not satisfied with it just ending with an e, so I tell them to spell it like children but without the “n”.
I grew up in a suburb east of Dallas – close enough to have fallen in love with graffitti and far enough to have feared for my life when I was being chased on foot by a horse next to my grandparents’ barn. I had the pleasure of going to college in Denton. Currently I reside in Dallas and make a living at Anthropolige.
What inspires you? Powerful words set to music – Beautiful Eulogy, Propaganda, Isaac Wimberly Raging Strong. Hearing people’s stories. A copy of Vogue, especially when Gwen Stefani is on the cover. Anything Martha Stewart except stock trading advice.
What are your gifts and talents? I have a best friend who says I’m gifted with long-suffering, my mom would say I am determined; I think one of my gifts is willingness.
As far as talents go, I can juggle and can probably beat you at a handstand contest – unless you are or were a gymnast.
How do you use your gifts to serve others? By spending quality time with them through the most mundane or sorrowful times, to the ones full of laughter and activity. I also enjoy making things for people – jewelry, paintings, magnets, any good DIY you can find on Pinterest!
I really enjoy creating more lively and inspiring spaces for people and have had the opportunity to do so for several summers where I’ve led mural projects for local schools through the partnership of The Village Church.
What would you do if you had nothing holding you back from your dreams? Dreams plural cover a lot of ground but on a practical level and what has filled my thoughts most as a young single is my career. In regards to that I’m doing what I’ve been dreaming of for the past 8 years, which is building and creating and getting paid for it.
Tell us about a season of suffering that lead to good things in your life. After graduating college I got a full-time, salaried job in corporate and was in a serious relationship. I took the job knowing it wasn’t where I wanted to grow professionally but it beat waiting tables at Outback while I figured out what to do. I planned on being there 3 months tops. It turns out that job was the only stable thing during my depression soaked quarter life crisis lasting nearly 4 years. I felt a lot of tension in the relationship I was in because he was doing what he loved and was ready to settle down. I despised so many things about my job – driving nearly 40 miles just to get there then 40 more back home during rush-hour traffic, sitting behind a desk all day, punching numbers into Excel, learning the fine print of life insurance which got me about as excited as the average consumer is for seaweed chips. I didn’t want to be married and begrudgingly settled since I never got to pursue my dreams with work. I soon got broken up with and slowly realized that the future I was hopeful for and a little dependent on fizzled away before me. Meanwhile 90% of my friends were starting marriages and content in their work. What started off as feelings of disconnection from community turned into feeling disconnected from myself and any feelings at all. I was emotionally and spiritually paralyzed. Nothing motivated me, and in a room full of friends I felt numb. I would pray for relief so many times and it did not come for a long while. I remember realizing that even though I had no comfort or feelings, God is still there. He is still faithful despite my belief. He doesn’t come and go based on my feelings – He is ALWAYS there. Trust him, seek him, walk, live. It was really hard some days. You get to a point where you don’t feel anything and are so disconnected and despondent, that you’d rather die. Not in a suicidal way but certainly in a very negligent and careless way. One winter morning my windows frosted over and I couldn’t get them all clear so when I turned out onto the street, I couldn’t see if there was oncoming traffic but I also didn’t care. I’m glad the other driver who laid on their horn was paying attention.
Eventually I moved to a new city that brought new opportunities and new relationships. Along with the forgiveness of Jesus and all this newness, I began to feel again and to flourish. There is so much suffering in this life, be assured. But God is faithful. 1 Corinthians 1:8-9
Share your proudest moment. Saving the money to pay cash for the car I bought a year ago. The guy selling it to me gave a very inflated APR for the loan so I said, “okay, I’ll pay cash.” As I was signing papers to do so, he came back in with a very different and much lower number that I thought was a reasonable price to pay in order to keep some of that hard earned cash on hand while still purchasing and getting to drive away with the new-to-me car!
I feel my purpose in life is to... work hard, love others, be changed to look more like Jesus.
To meet more Rubies, check out the rest of The Ruby Project!
All images via That's Pretty Ace