About Me


Hi, I’m Jenn Swank Shuffle. My maiden name is so awesome that I kept it as my middle name. I remember, when I was 7 or so, carrying handfuls of tiny pieces of paper with me in the car. My mother wanted to know what I was doing with them – making a huge mess no doubt. I told her she just wouldn’t understand, that I was BEING CREATIVE. I have since gone on to such greatness as starring in the LPHS/LLTC production of Guys And Dolls and Kiss Me Kate for two consecutive summers, making several student films at Wheaton College, graduating from that institution with a lot of debt, marrying Henry Shuffle and bearing his three children. And there’s a lot more where that came from.

I started this blog because I was told I had to write in order to advertise my now defunct business – jewelry making – and my archives will show you some of my earlier attempts at this. Over the course of nine years, having had three babies, weathered the financial crisis and moved from Wheaton, IL to Detroit, MI, my focus and priorities have changed.


The new title of this blog was taken from the 2003 film “Master And Commander: The Far Side of the World.” There is a scene where an old sailor admonishes the new one with the letters tattoed onto the first knuckles of both hands: H O L D  F A S T. In the next scene, the viewer watches in horror as one of the sailors is swept into a stormy sea, unable to be saved. Early on, Henry and I decided this was a good metaphor for marriage. In the ensuing 9 years, I haven’t found a better one.

I now have a sister in Switzerland, parents on their way to the North Caucus mountains of Russia, a 12 acre property with a lake and a desire to travel – thus the need for extra income. I hope to bring ya’ll on that ride with me. Other rides I’m taking, in no particular order:

  • losing extra baby weight in hopes of bearing yet more children
  • renovating our home to include an Airbnb space
  • homeschooling our children using the principles and method outlined by Charlotte Mason – 19th century British school reformer
  • my own musings on grief, womanhood, navigating life as a sensitive and creative mother, marriage, Detroit, Hanson (you haven’t seen the last of those posts) and whatever else comes into my head
  • exploring & re-exploring potential documentary film subjects
  • The Enneagram (I am a 4)
  • books, music and movies I love
  • things & food I like to make

These musings have been a pretty good testimony to God’s goodness so far. Can’t wait to see what happens next.

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