Laura Wade and Cynthia have been friends for over 20 years. We have traveled through the dark twists and beautiful turns of life together. There are many things that define us, including: wives, mothers, counselors, and lovers of life. Also, like Jacob, we can be stubborn, demanding, ready to fight, as well as chosen and beloved.

We believe in the importance of story, voice, and friendships. As we have embraced these things, it has enabled us to be more deeply grounded in ourselves, God and each other. This website is a picture into our friendship as we walk, run, skip and hobble our way through life.

As we welcome and embrace our voices and stories, we hope to inspire you to do the same.


Laura Wade Shirley

Laura Wade Shirley loves the Indigo Girls, camping with her family, and helping people find deeper healing from trauma. She is a wife, mother of three boys, therapist, and teacher.  She lives in Seattle where she has a counseling practice and teaches at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. She enjoys running, triathlons, and playing in the garden. When Laura Wade is not outdoors she relishes sitting in a quiet house reading a book or catching up on one of her favorite TV shows.


Cynthia Vander Ark

Cynthia loves a good story and believes they can be found most anywhere: Books, Netflix original, music, wilderness, or someone's heart. One of her greatest pleasures in life is helping others find freedom and beauty in souls that have been covered with heartache, sorrow, and abuse. She loves cooking and eating and food that is so good, it makes you cry. Since giving up adventure races, she has taken to hiking and in the summer months, you can find her floating in a pool, lake, or ocean, digging in her flower beds, or enjoying a glass of wine with friends on her patio. She has been married 25 years to Wes and has two grown daughters.