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q&a with Tori Sheppard from Causeway Coast Vineyard  

It gives me great joy to welcome the incredible Tori Shepherd who is the Director of Women's Ministry at Causeway Coast Vineyard and a lady with the most beautiful voice, both when she speaks and sings.  I had the pleasure of getting to know Tori when I worked with her last year at Causeway Coast Vineyard.  Causeway Coast Vineyard host will a women's conference 7&8 November called Be Brave.  You can follow Tori and the CCV women's team on Facebook and Twitter.  Tori you are so welcome here at Salt and Sparkle.

Who are you, what’s it like being you …

I am Tori, I am mother wife friend, I am ministry leader, songwriter and singer, worshipper.

Where are you from, where are you based …

From little town outside of Conyers outside of Altanta Georgia, USA.

I am living now in Coleraine Northern Ireland

Talk about your work …

I direct the womens ministry for Causeway Coast Vineyard  (CCV) - this looks like empowering women and helping to connect them of their unique design and destiny

What are your future plans ... 

I am not the kind of person that has a super five year or ten year plan, my future plans are to live in joy and freedom and loving others as much as I can and loving my family and being the kind of person that spreads love around, that is kind of me.  I don’t have huge plans, I just really want to make a difference, and be the kinda person that makes difference in the world.

How do you find inspiration, who you are inspired by ...  

many people would think I am an extravert because in my job I do relate with people and that is what I do day to day, I find inspiration in an intervertived kind of way, alone in my thoughts, and i can find it anywhere where I can be with my thoughts and with God.

Describe your space ... 

Just moved into a new house and one of the most wonderful things that has ever happened in our new life, we have a house now that has space, so the children can be in one part of the house and I can be in another, and we are enjoying space, I have now a front room of the house that is my office, and I find myself in tears most days because it feels like such a gift to me

How are you feeling today ... 

Today my mother got out of hospital and I am over here in Ireland, and today I feeling that I wish I could jump on a plane and be with my mother

I wish I was wonder women in a glass plane, I have always wanted to have it, my sister and I argue all the time, we both want the glass plane. 

Instead I have been able to come home and be with my children and we have been laughing tonight and sitting on the sofa and it is helping my heart.

A non-negotiable in your life is …

Time with my husband.

Most encouraging words you have ever heard ... 

Probably some of the most life changing words I have ever heard was a long time ago when I watched the movie Chariots of Fire, anyone who has been around me for any length of time knows I love this line

Eric Liddell, 'I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.'


When I run I feel pleasure, that quote helped me understand the way that God loves me and that he has planted things in me and my design and it means it is okay that I love it because he has made me that way.  It took me years to come to the understanding to be able to say, when I sing I feel his pleasure. That I am a singer because he made me that way made me that.

I am a singer, when I sing I feel his pleasure.

To be able to say this, is so transformational to me.  It is that whole understanding that I was made for His pleasure and that He has given me gifts that when I use them I feel good.  I am not just one thing I am other things to, but it is so helpful to me to be able to definte some of those things, and know that they are okay, because I was created this way.

Your work life philosophy is …

There is no such thing as balance!

What is your favourite smell ...  

Peaches.  Fresh peaches. Peaches are the fruit of Georgia.  I am a Georgia girl through and through.  They call girls from Georgia peach.

 Who do you like to listen to, what’s playing just now ... 

Terrrible question for me, because i am queen shuffle, and eclectic to the core i love so many things, I loveJoanne Hogg, and uncountable stars it is the thing that I can’t stop playing right now.  I can’t stop listening to it.

Best meal and your favourite three ingredients ... 

Has to be Southern food, it would have to be some kind of meat, any meat, but the vegetables are what feature, turnip greens with pepper sauce, and cornbread, and broccoli casserole and wheat potato casserole, pecan pie and iced tea.

Cream of mushroom soup because of the casseroles, cornmeal and tea

Three things or products that have changed your life... 

One thing is that I wear boots almost every day, so riding boots are my staple clothes item, and they have helped me to be able to put aside heels, which is a help. That part changed my life.

iphone - don’t know what I would do without this

How do you relax ... 

I love sofa time with my family

What makes you happy, where’s your happy place ... 

My happy place is when people around me are happy, I love it when the people I love are happy, when I am with the people I love are happy

Laughter is a key feature in our house and when there is laughter and we are laughing i am gloriously happy

What is your favourite journey, where in the world would you like to visit ...  

I feel like I won life’s lottery when I moved to Northern Ireland, and my favourite thing to do is the County Antrim coast drive and stare at the sea.

Staring at the sea, this is the thing I love to do on a beautiful day as it restores my soul

I spend most of the time crying when I stare at the sea because it is so beautiful.

What do you most value in your friends ...  

I have really good friends and their kindness to me is overwhelming to me

What are your favourite words, what are you reading, just now ... 

My favourite words are I love you, I think that’s my favourite.  Right now I am reading Half the Sky by Nicolas Kristoff, and that is breaking my heart

Share some words of wisdom ...

I think the best thing that I could say to anyone is just that when we can remember who we are, who we are designed to be.  I believe that God speaks to each of us quietly and gently and he tells us who we are and how much he loves us, and when we know who we are there really isn’t anything that can get in the way of beautiful things happening in our lifes, because we see the world with those eyes we operate with that in mind, and we don’t have to worry about what others think about us.

Tori, it was our pleasure to interview you today.

That's it for now ...


Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable

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